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Discussion Starter #1
A friend has this large swarm hanging 20' up on a tree in her apartment courtyard:

54211690_10218674412270979_4485901123705634816_n.jpg

She says the tree is spindly and unclimbable, and there's no good place under the tree to set up a ladder. As you can see, even if you were to place a box under the tree and shake that branch, you wouldn't get very many bees to fall into the box.

Can a swarm like this be collected just by placing a suitable box (e.g. like a swarm trap) on the ground, or on that stucco pillar at the bottom right of the photo, and then waiting for them to discover it?

Any other ideas?
 

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20 ft away is asking a lot ...

One idea I've heard voiced several times over the years is to shoot a light line over the tree (using a fishing rod or bow and arrow), as near to the cluster as you can manage. Then tie a more substantial line (say, light rope - washing line etc) onto it's end and pull that rope up over the branch and back down to the ground. Then tie a frame with (ideally) some open brood - or if not, then some really old comb - onto the end of that rope. Ensure you tie another rope, or the other end of the first, onto the frame so that you can pull the frame back down afterwards - then hoist it up into position as near to the cluster as you can. With luck and a following wind, the bees will cluster onto that frame, after which you can pull it back down to the ground - ever so gently - and house the swarm.

LJ
 

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a 20 foot drop to the bucket will almost certainly not work. A bait hive is a crap shoot but odds most likely well under 50%.

What will work, is a 4 gallon bucket taped to the end of a long pole.

Gotta work fast though, the procedure is set up a hive to recieve the bees, by putting a box of frames with a lid, on a couple of 1 or 2 inch sticks to lift it above ground a bit so bees dumped next to it will easily walk in. Set this 20 feet or a bit less away from the bottom of the tree, and preferably upwind from the tree.

Then you stand under the tree with your bucket and pole, and jab the bucket into the swarm so the swarm will drop into the bucket. Now the bit where you have to be quick. - Swing the pole down to your prepared hive and dump the bees right in front of it. If you are quick you will lose almost no bees and they will be dumped right next to the hive and start walking in.

The tree should be monitored and if the swarm re forms, repeat the procedure. The hive is upwind from the tree, to help lost bees smell and locate the hive.

Once the bees are successfully hived and inside the box, place the hive on a bottom board.

EDIT - Just seen Little Johns post, good idea also, more than one way to skin a cat!
 

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It may be to late for this swarm but we got 2 last year that where way up in trees, we used a 20’ length of 2” PVC pipe attached to a makeshift “bee vacuum” we grabbed 2 five gallon buckets 1 lid, duct tape and some screen fabed the thing from a video on YouTube It was a 2 person job though.
 

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I've successfully done Little John's trick but used but used a sling shot, light string, and two machine nuts (like nuts and bolts) as the weight. It took several tries to get the placement correct.

An inverted bottomless clear plastic five gallon water jug with the neck attached to an extendable painter's pole works works well for lower swarms. To make, cut the bottom out of the jug and toss it away, and cut the handle off of a surplus paint roller and use silicon caulking compound to cement to handle in the bottle neck. Make it up before you need it and have it on stand-by together with a painter's pole.

P1120233.jpg

Cheers,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Look up Blue Green Horizons, Queen Throne. Easy as pie. Can use a regular bucket to make one in a pinch.
Awesome! It's too late for this particular swarm, because they flew away yesterday, but I definitely want to build one of these.

I have about 2 dozen cat litter pails, which is perfect for this, and I also have that same Fiskar's extendible pole saw, so I have all the expensive pieces already.

edit: Here's a link to the "how-to" site.
 

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I would setup a bait hive at the foot of the tree with some lemongrass oil and some QMP (you can buy this as PseudoQueen from places like Mann Lake). It works most of the time. Anything that helps with a bait hive will help, like an old box and some old brood comb etc.
 

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Very interesting stuff. I don't understand the Blue Green Horizons Queen Throne. What are supposed to do with it? Hoist it?
 

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Yunzow, typically it's attached to a pole but can be used to collect any swarm. Most of the time, if you get it positioned properly the bees move right into it, don't even need to knock them off the limb etc... The bees even draw out the foundation as sometimes they're in overnight etc... which makes it work even better.
 
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