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Caught a Swarm, no Extra Hive, now what?

1519 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mathesonequip
So, I'm *brand* new at this.

I have had a nuc for just about 2 months. They seem very strong and healthy & are drawing comb well--they're starting on their 3rd medium hive body.

However, they swarmed today.

I caught the swarm in a bucket with a screen on the top while DH quickly made a makeshift nuc box for them.

I pulled a frame with some open brood from the other hive & put it & 2 empty frames in the nuc box & dumped the bees in.

Just now (about 30 minutes after putting them in), I went to see what was going on & the queen was in the grass with 15 or so bees. The rest of the bees were still in the nuc box. I caught her & tried putting her back in with the rest of them, but I'm not sure where she ended up--several bees flew up as I put her in the hive.

What can I do to try to keep them from leaving? I can't get another *real* hive for them for a few days, since our local supplier is closed for a summer vacation.

Any advice?

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Can you make another 4 or 5 frame box just like your nuc but with no bottom? Fill that with frames if you have them, put it on top and that might provide enough space to keep them happy for a while. You might even be able to overwinter in it.

Is it probable that they will just want to leave because the nuc box isn't big enough for them?

We're traveling out of province tomorrow & I plan to stop by a beekeeping store & pick up a hive for them. Do I need to get them into something bigger before Sunday, or should they be ok in there for a few days?
They're still in there, but it's SO quiet! There are no bees flying, no bees at the entrance, etc.

But if I look in, I can see that they're all over the frame of brood I put in & under the cover.

What does that indicate?? Are they going to stay in there?
there's a good chance they will stay, especially if the queen they are attracted to is in the box. the one you found in the grass with just a few bees could have been an extra virgin that tagged along for the ride.
I caught at least two swarms in May that had at least two queens in each (that I saw). Sounds like the bees in the nuc will stay. waynesgarden has a good idea also, just in case. Good luck!
They are still there today! They're flying about.
leave them alone for a week. get another hive, have a spare or a place to borrow one lined up.
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