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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a call to remove a swarm from a bush Sunday night about 10 miles from my house but it was too late to go. I told the home owner I would be there first thing in the morning to help remove. When I got there at 8 am 2 move seperate swarms had moved into 2 other trees on the property that morning he said.. All 3 where seperate balls and at least 25-30 yards apart. I removed all 3 directly into cardboard boxes and left open to see if the bees I missed would fly in and all 3 boxes did the same. I transported home and moved each into seperate 5 frame nucs in my yard. Each cluster was about volleyball sized. I went to peek today and add some hard sugar and all 3 swarms where gone... Not sure what I did wrong? I didn't give any brood is one thing I can think of and maybe I moved too many times from tree to box to nuc? Any ideas I am bummed...
 

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What kind of frames were in the nucs? I try a honey frame if I don't have any brood frames or figure even drawn comb should lock them down. Only other thing is, it sounds like they were afterswarms, so it could be virgin queens heading out to get mated and all the bees just figured it was time to go again....
 

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A nearly full frame of young larvae must be added or you run the risk of them leaving. Ive hived dozens and this is the only way. Drawn comb helps but you could still lose up to half. Have not lost any with the way i described
 

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Sometimes it just happens but off hand I'd say that you may not have given them enough room for one, a volleyball size swarm is a lot of bees, a full deep would have been better.

Really could use some more information, lots of things can turn a swarm off to a set up.

Things I've found that help keep them:
If your using foundation (especially plastic) you had better cage the Queen for a few days or give them an open frame of brood to anchor them
Using foundationless frames I have not found it necessary to do either
A well aired out or used hive (no fresh paint)
Enough Room, better to error on to much than to little
Shade
Solid Bottom Board

I also only move brand new swarms at dusk, which gives them time to calm down before morning and get to work.

Then leave them alone for at least a week if they are a primary swarm and 3 weeks if they are a secondary swarm. Typically I never feed swarms in the spring, they wouldn't have swarmed if there wasn't a flow. I try not to get within 20' of them the first week just to be on the careful side.

Here is a swarm capture video that shows how I do it (3 short videos): http://youtu.be/FuNTSba3Xac

Knock on wood I have not lost a caught swarm in a couple of years doing these things.

Keep trying, there is a learning curve

Good luck. ....Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What kind of frames were in the nucs? I try a honey frame if I don't have any brood frames or figure even drawn comb should lock them down. Only other thing is, it sounds like they were afterswarms, so it could be virgin queens heading out to get mated and all the bees just figured it was time to go again....
I used 5 foundation frames in all 3 nucs....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A nearly full frame of young larvae must be added or you run the risk of them leaving. Ive hived dozens and this is the only way. Drawn comb helps but you could still lose up to half. Have not lost any with the way i described
I thought that might be issue and bummed because I lost all 3....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sometimes it just happens but off hand I'd say that you may not have given them enough room for one, a volleyball size swarm is a lot of bees, a full deep would have been better.

Really could use some more information, lots of things can turn a swarm off to a set up.

Things I've found that help keep them:
If your using foundation (especially plastic) you had better cage the Queen for a few days or give them an open frame of brood to anchor them
Using foundationless frames I have not found it necessary to do either
A well aired out or used hive (no fresh paint)
Enough Room, better to error on to much than to little
Shade
Solid Bottom Board

I also only move brand new swarms at dusk, which gives them time to calm down before morning and get to work.

Then leave them alone for at least a week if they are a primary swarm and 3 weeks if they are a secondary swarm. Typically I never feed swarms in the spring, they wouldn't have swarmed if there wasn't a flow. I try not to get within 20' of them the first week just to be on the careful side.

Here is a swarm capture video that shows how I do it (3 short videos): http://youtu.be/FuNTSba3Xac

Knock on wood I have not lost a caught swarm in a couple of years doing these things.

Keep trying, there is a learning curve

Good luck. ....Don
Thanks for the advise and I didn't think about frameless I might try that next time.... Should I have left them in the box by the time I got home with them it was 10 am and moved later or was that not the issue?
 

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I got a call to remove a swarm from a bush Sunday night about 10 miles from my house but it was too late to go. I told the home owner I would be there first thing in the morning to help remove. When I got there at 8 am 2 move seperate swarms had moved into 2 other trees on the property that morning he said.. All 3 where seperate balls and at least 25-30 yards apart. I removed all 3 directly into cardboard boxes and left open to see if the bees I missed would fly in and all 3 boxes did the same. I transported home and moved each into seperate 5 frame nucs in my yard. Each cluster was about volleyball sized. I went to peek today and add some hard sugar and all 3 swarms where gone... Not sure what I did wrong? I didn't give any brood is one thing I can think of and maybe I moved too many times from tree to box to nuc? Any ideas I am bummed...

I think it is important there is enough room in the nuc. Ensure there is no odd smells, Put a strip of plastic queen excluder across the entrance to keep the queen in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think it is important there is enough room in the nuc. Ensure there is no odd smells, Put a strip of plastic queen excluder across the entrance to keep the queen in.
I like that idea and will use the extruders next time until the queen starts to lay...
 

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Thanks for the advise and I didn't think about frameless I might try that next time.... Should I have left them in the box by the time I got home with them it was 10 am and moved later or was that not the issue?
No, you did the right thing transferring them out of the cardboard box when you got them home, pretty sure you just didn't give them enough room. Some of the other things on the list I gave you may have contributed. When using foundation or plastic inside the hive you had better plan to always cage the queen or add a frame of brood every time or risk losing quite a few swarms.

I would not have let them fly in and out of the cardboard box at the site though, you probably should have just installed them directly into a hive at the site and gone back after dark that evening and moved them home. I only use a cardboard box to catch and transport swarms like you did when the swarm is in a very tight cluster (like in early morning) and I can get 98% into the cardboard box. Then I quickly transport them home and get them installed in their permanent hive.

Now get out there and catch some more this weekend!

Don
 

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I love reading these forums because it gives me the impression that if you live in California you can walk out your door in the morning and take your pick of 3-5 prime swarms. And if they don't stick around you can always get more tomorrow. :)

Good luck!
 
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