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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Unfortunately it came from one of my hives. My wife told me there were bees in a tree. I shook them into a new hive I had just painted. It rained cats and dogs last night. Will this help them to stay?
ks
 

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Unfortunately it came from one of my hives. My wife told me there were bees in a tree. I shook them into a new hive I had just painted. It rained cats and dogs last night. Will this help them to stay?
ks
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Anything that will make them stay in the hive for a period of time will increase the chances of them accepting the space. Personally, I plug up the hive for three days when I collect a new swarm. I make sure they have feed, pollen, and ventilation so they can get right to work. Usually the bees will tell you if they have accepted the space if they start bringing in pollen in a week or two of hiving (it means they have hatched brood that needs feeding).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There was an after swarm yesterday. I had another hive but no frames. I was leaving the house to pick up frames and some other goodies from a club member that is a Mann Lake distributor. They were still there when I got back with frames. I put feeders on both of my new swarm hives.
ks
 

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If you could spare a frame of open brood from a hive (for each swarm ideally) that would be a good way to promote their leaving. The open brood frame serves as an anchor as bees are loathe to leave open brood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's raining so much they can't go anywhere. The night I hived the first swarm it rained 3 inches, 1 inch of it in ten minutes. It has been raining for 10 hours now. That after swarm is likely a virgin. I hope there is good flying weather coming up.
ks
 

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If they had not found a new hive location I've found that early swarms, especially prime swarms, tend to stay put. Only ones I've had take off were swams on the ground or sides of cars, and even those usually stay put if you have used equipment.

Not always, and there is no perfect way to keep them in the box if they decided to go! A used frame, preferably clean drawn comb, will help.

My buddy and I have collected about six this year, only one decided to split. Couple years back every single swarm we collected took off in a day or two.

One thing to know, a mating flight for a new queen can look very similar to a swarm, the bees exit the hive and fly around in a big cloud and will usually cluster nearby. Looks exactly like a swarm, except that the queen took off to mate. The cluster will break up in half an hour or so and all the bees will go back to the hive. There will also usually be a large number of bees on the front of the hive fanning since they are suddenly queenless until she comes back.

Happened to me on Sunday, rigged up a bucket on a pole to get the bees down, and shortly they had all gone back to the hive. A few hours later there were several dozen dead drones in front of the hive. New queen -- that hive had some queen cells last week after I did a Snelgrove board split to remove the extra boxes I had to leave on it over the winter. Nice bonus, new queen downstairs, new queen upstairs, and maybe some honey since I put supers on the bottom.
 

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Anything that will make them stay in the hive for a period of time will increase the chances of them accepting the space. Personally, I plug up the hive for three days when I collect a new swarm. I make sure they have feed, pollen, and ventilation so they can get right to work. Usually the bees will tell you if they have accepted the space if they start bringing in pollen in a week or two of hiving (it means they have hatched brood that needs feeding).
What about water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So far, so good. They took all the 1:1 I put on. 8# sugar to 2 hives. I made 10# of 1:1 that I put on yesterday. Costco would only let me buy 1 bag. Today both of the swarm hives are bringing in pollen. Weather looks decent for the next couple of days.
ks
 

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So glad you were able to retrieve them before the soaking rain. Holy smokes they really covered that tree! Honey, pollen, open brood and drawn comb are all high value. Best of luck to you.
 

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If you could spare a frame of open brood from a hive (for each swarm ideally) that would be a good way to promote their leaving. The open brood frame serves as an anchor as bees are loathe to leave open brood.
Over the years my success rate of keeping a swarm in a box runs about 70% or so. things I have tried.

- Just dump them into an empty box with fresh new frames. A couple have left in less than 24 hours. 10 frame and 5 frame boxes.
- Give them a filled feeder with new frames. Only done that once, they left.
- Give them a filled feeder with drawn frames. They have stuck around, but, it's a waste, best thing about a swarm, they draw comb quickly.
- Give them a frame of open brood. Worked most of the time, two years ago I had them leave the open brood 24 hours later.

I hived a small swarm yesterday, it's now sitting in a 5 frame box with one drawn frame, 3 new plastic frames and a feeder that has a liter of thin syrup. I peeked in about an hour after putting them in the box yesterday, bees are 2 deep on the new frames, busy cleaning the drawn frame. I spotted a queen. This morning I realized there is one more thing I have not tried, and I should have yesterday. Put the queen in a cage then let the bees do a candy release. By the time the queen is out, they would likely have that drawn frame all cleaned up and ready for her to lay eggs in.
 

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Grozzie, and if it turns out the queen was a virgin? I have used a qe under the hive body to keep a queen locked inside, but only for three days. This was on one of my swarms that I shook into a box, saw the queen, and then watched them all fly back to the original branch. Second attempt and I got the queen in a clip, then set up the nuc with the qe and then released the queen.
 
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