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Discussion Starter #1
good day!

After 2 years of no success, my bait hive has tenants. There is a little problem though.

The situation:

1 The bait hive is on a maple tree at about 30 ft.
2 There is a huge beard outside of the hive, especially on the side, where...
3 I did spill quite a bit of lemongrass on the outside of the box
4 It has been over 90 F (32 C) in our area for a week now with over 70F (20C) at night. - They don't go in.
5 I checked the trap two weeks ago - it didn't have any bees.
6 The trap has a closable front entry and a couple of closable vents (with grills) on sides. I opened those just yesterday.
7- The trap is a regular size 8 frame langstroth.
8 - The trap is located 100 ft near their future permanent location

My plan:

i On wed it's supposed to be 57F (14C) at night. So supposedly they will go inside.
ii Close the entrance and lower the box to the ground.
iii Move it to my fiend's location for a week.
iv Move it back to my property and move the bees to a nice 8 or 10 frame langstroth with all the perks of a permanent location.


The questions:

a) The most important: They may not go in even at 57F. What do I do?
b) Do I keep the entrance closed for the week while they're at my firend's to avoid the bearding again? (who knows if there will be any more cool nights in the near future).
c) If i keep the entracnce closed, wouldn't I be better off moving them into my basement for 3 days instead of my friend's? - it's cooler in the basement so being confined will put less stress on the little beasts.

Any ideas, suggestions, criticism and threats are welcome. Thanks!
 

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Do you have ability to check inside of the box now? Maybe some of the bees+queen is inside and others are just hanging out because of heat. If so your plan is probably OK- wait for cooler night and they most likely will move in. If the trap is empty and they are only on the outside then I would treat it as any other swarm and try to shake them into another box. If they haven't started building comb, then they are not really committed to this location and may leave any time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello! Thanks for responding.
Unfortunately I cannot check inside. But they seem to go in and out. Say, they're bringing in pollen and doing all the "regular bee stuff" but the beard remains. Can I still shake it off upon closing the entry? Where to I keep them upon shaking them off?

I am trying to work out my plan A and plan B scenarios for each step.
 

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The questions:

a) The most important: They may not go in even at 57F. What do I do?
b) Do I keep the entrance closed for the week while they're at my firend's to avoid the bearding again? (who knows if there will be any more cool nights in the near future).
c) If i keep the entracnce closed, wouldn't I be better off moving them into my basement for 3 days instead of my friend's? - it's cooler in the basement so being confined will put less stress on the little beasts.

starting, with this is my opinion
a) get them into a bigger hive, maybe they cannot fit and will leave for a bigger hive.
b) you mean do not let them forage and make them uncomfortable? to what end, move them and let them out add space if needed, prop the lid a bit if hot, I have never locked bees into their hive, unless on the road with them.
c) In the basement, hmmm never tried that before.

Ok so you have them in the trap, get them into their target hive. Can you just lower them and re hive them right there? will they be close to the final place at that point? Maybe get a bag made from mosquito netting bag them and take them to you friends. I do not think you will get them inside the bait hive all at once. Interesting problem. Dekster has a point they may just be resting there.

GG
 

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If it was me, I would lower it to the ground first and open to check (if possible). 30ft is close enough for returning foragers (if any) to discover new location if it is right underneath. If they have built comb inside then either shake the beard back into the box (does trap have frames or would they be building wild comb?) or better into alternate box where you will move queen+comb. Then close and move to your friend's (losing the foragers). Or leave the new box right there until the cooler nights and then close up and move.
 

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A swarm can easily sit in a cool and dark basement 2-3 days - not a problem.
Need to give them a drink if they have nothing else.
This was a routine with us.

Do rethink your practice of putting the traps 30 feet high, even for the safety reasons.
So many difficulties created by the height.

Another item to rethink - the "spilling" of the LGO onto the trap side.
This is why the bees stuck to the trap side, likely.

If they did not go in at once, I think they will stay outside now.
They very well maybe building the comb outside already.
If so they will never go inside.

First - you should somehow lower this entire mess to the ground level (any time a day; the bees will follow).
Second - safely access the situation (you may now need to do a cut-out, I suspect).
Third - do the cut-out into the normal hive at the ground level.
Fourth - do the hive moves as prefer (either long distance or the basement should work).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi! Thanks for responding!

How can I tell if they actually didn't go in or they're simply bearing due to the heat?
What do I do if they're building comb outside?

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I remember correctly the trap has a alternating empty and older dark comb frames. So 4 empty and 4 old comb.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I thought about the height. It is a challenging inconvenience. However, any time i did catch anything (including inside a wall of my older house...) it was always over 20ft above ground. You know how it works with traps (and fishing) - you tend to fish where you already had success.
 

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If I remember correctly the trap has a alternating empty and older dark comb frames. So 4 empty and 4 old comb.
Ah, that makes it easy then (if comb is being built inside) - you just transfer frames into your new box and the "beard" will follow the queen onto/into new box. If they are building comb outside, then this now goes into "cutout" category and I don't have experience with that, sorry.
 

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Yeah, I thought about the height. It is a challenging inconvenience. However, any time i did catch anything (including inside a wall of my older house...) it was always over 20ft above ground. You know how it works with traps (and fishing) - you tend to fish where you already had success.
Catching the swarm that high does not mean the bees want the trap that high.
It only means that the smell of your trap travels better when trap is high (and so the bees have a better chance to find your trap).

All you have to do - place the scent lure high and place the actual trap lower, just below the scent lure.
This way you don't have to wrestle the trap down from the 30 foot height.

Note: of course, the bears or humans could be a local factor to consider the trap placement height (this one is a valid concern).
 

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Hi! Thanks for responding!

How can I tell if they actually didn't go in or they're simply bearing due to the heat?
What do I do if they're building comb outside?

Thanks,
32C is not hot enough to prevent the swarm to go inside.
Really is not.
I would not even worry about it.

It is your "spilling" the LGO on to the trap side that has to do with it.
3 I did spill quite a bit of lemongrass on the outside of the box
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Greg.
So who's hanging outside? Is it those who never went in and are still figuring out if they want to stay? Is it those who went in and just bearded out due to the heat? Or is it those who consider the outside to be their new home? Where the queen will find herself in that case?
 

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Thanks Greg.
So who's hanging outside? Is it those who never went in and are still figuring out if they want to stay? Is it those who went in and just bearded out due to the heat? Or is it those who consider the outside to be their new home? Where the queen will find herself in that case?
I want to bet your entire swarm is hanging outside.
They are probably building the combs just as we speak - outside.
 

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OK do this in Google and read: "swarm outside trap beesource".
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks. I did and read most (if not all) of the related info I found in addition to other sources. Still it didn't hurt to ask for I have an interesting combination of many problems (height, bearding, exceptional heat for our region, need to move the hive etc). So I am trying to get as many opinions as possible given that complex combination. In other words, I have a fair degree of understanding of each element separately - now I am trying to sort out their priority and risk.
 

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So you don't know when they have landed there? You mentioned you last checked 2 weeks ago and they were not there and today you saw them for the first time? By the end of the day they may be gone again if you don't act...
 

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For sure stop worrying about the "heat thing".
Ask yourself - how is it people keep bees in TX and how do these swarms in TX EVER move into the traps?

I know how 45C heat feels like and 32C at that rate is a very desirable temp (30C feels very, very cool after having weeks of 40C heat).

Normal temp IN the brood nest is just about 30-35C for normal brood rearing and so stop worrying of the temp.
 

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So you don't know when they have landed there? You mentioned you last checked 2 weeks ago and they were not there and today you saw them for the first time? By the end of the day they may be gone again if you don't act...
If they started building the combs (yes, outside) - they will stay put most likely.
 

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Regarding the height of placing swarm traps...

Some years ago after doing lots of reading and asking lots of questions from professional and much more experienced beekeepers, we came to the conclusion all swarm traps should be placed at 8 feet or higher in the trees. So as rookie beekeepers, we followed the 8 ft or higher protocol for the first year. And we caught lots of swarms!

For me, the problem at 8 ft. or higher is the risk of falling. I almost fell a number of times when attempting to collect swarms that had been left in the swarm trap for a week or two because they were loaded with honey. Attempting to remove the traps via a ladder was just too darn awkward.

The following year, we tried some traps at 6 ft. Caught swarm after swarm and after swarm. Then we tried some at 4 ft off the ground. We eventually came to the realization that when the swarm season is super strong here, the bees will even land large swarms on the ground or near the ground. One year, we were catching 5-10 swarms per day for a week or two and the bees did not care one lick about the height of the swarm traps...

We even caught one swarm over 60 ft up in a eucalyptus tree [shot it out of the tree], yet, the week after that, we caught a large swarm in our sheep pen that had landed on the ground on the sheep crap!

https://www.beesource.com/forums/sh...o-Saved-the-Swarm-of-Bees&highlight=tall+tale

Moral of the story:

People who insist that swarm traps should be placed at certain minimum heights up in trees have no clue whatsoever what they are talking about...it is simply an old wives tale...

After catching well over 100 swarms, we finally came to the conclusion that 5 ft is perfect for us! No need to climb a ladder, no need to bend over when picking up the swarm trap, and no need to worry about animals getting into the trap because it was high enough off the ground! Common sense dude!

Swarm 6d.jpg 1.jpg 5.jpg TOOO HIGH.jpg
 
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