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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a call yesterday for a swarm at the local bowling alley. It was up on the overhang near the rear door, about 8' off the ground:



I didn't get there until evening, after I'd just used my swarm collection box to pick up another swarm across town. The bowling alley manager told me the maintenance guy had just bought some hornet spray, and was scheduled to exterminate them at 6:00 AM this morning.

So I ran home and put some mesh on an empty cat litter pail, and got back to the swarm site around 8:30 PM.

Easiest. Collection. Ever.

I stood on my stepladder with the pail above my head, and scraped it along that surface. Nearly all the bees went into the pail quietly, and I had zero fliers. Literally zero. The bees were too torpid to fly. The ~50 or so bees that I rolled/crushed along the ceiling just fell the ground, and I swept them into the bucket as well. I think I may have left fewer than 10 bees behind:



This morning I dropped them into a deep with frames and a queen includer at the bottom.

Does anyone else collect swarms at night?
 

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Does anyone else collect swarms at night?

First of all, good catch.

I have a couple of times, but they weren't as simple as the one you did. The issue with working bees at night (swarms or colonies) is that you get LOTS of crawlers all over you. Bees prefer to crawl at night instead of flying, so this can pose issues. Generally, I much prefer daytime operations, but sometimes, like your situation, you need to act fast.
 

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Waterbuggy,

We usually always wait until the sun is down before collecting swarms.

Here is why:

1. We lose much less foragers.
2. We feel transporting honeybees when temperatures are lower is a better idea.
3. Much less honeybees flying and the "crawlers" are super easy to sweep up and place in the box.

Cheers!
 

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My son sent me a pix of a swarm last year. It was dark by the time I got there, but got every single bee with the swarm. I just cut the branch it was on and laid it in a deep box with a few frames and took it home. Easy as could be......... :applause:
 

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I collected a colony at night that had recently moved into a cover draped over a BBQ. It was tough as it kept flopping around as I tried to collect the bees, but they were as docile and calm as could be (unlike an established colony - I'll never try opening one of those at night after one bad experience!)
 

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When I replied to this thread, I posted a picture of the swarm I caught. What happened to it.....? It's not here anymore........ :s
 

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When I replied to this thread, I posted a picture of the swarm I caught. What happened to it.....? It's not here anymore........ :s
It swarmed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I collected a colony at night that had recently moved into a cover draped over a BBQ. It was tough as it kept flopping around as I tried to collect the bees, but they were as docile and calm as could be (unlike an established colony - I'll never try opening one of those at night after one bad experience!)
This is what had me confused. I'd been warned so many times against working a hive at night that it never occurred to me that a swarm would act differently.

Now I know!

It's the difference between giving a group of homeless folks a warm bed at night, vs. rousting a gun-toting homeowner at night. Big difference!
 

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Here, again, is the swarm I captured in the dark. The photo was sent to me in the late afternoon and it was dark before I got there.
Donnie's bees.jpg
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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This is what had me confused. I'd been warned so many times against working a hive at night that it never occurred to me that a swarm would act differently.

Now I know!

It's the difference between giving a group of homeless folks a warm bed at night, vs. rousting a gun-toting homeowner at night. Big difference!
I had a bout of to much work 2 years ago, The only Time I had to work the bees was at night, fortunately I could drive my car close. You can really see eggs good with car headlights. I did the nite car thing for 3 or 4 months, never had a problem, actually liked it it was a lot cooler.
For me it was not an issue.
GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And then there's the swarm I picked up tonight. Yesterday afternoon I took the swarm call, and the homeowner said they'd been there "about a week." There was a spade of comb hanging off a branch, 2' off the ground:

20190421_131513_1556050608542.jpg

and the bees were on the ground below it. They were in some dense, viney groundcover, and difficult to scoop. So I put the nuc down scooped as many as I could into the box (perhaps 10%) and then just shook the heck out of the foliage to force them to move. Then I left them for a day and returned to pick them up at 10:00 tonight.

There were a few dozen bees on them front porch that I had to squish to get the entrance plugged up with a rag, and the rest of them just buzzed like crazy the entire 15 minute drive home.

I put them on the hive stand and let them sit for 10 minutes before pulling the rag. They were still buzzing hard, and soon as I pulled the rag they came pouring out. I can see them on the BeeCam, and there's a few hundred of them out there on the front porch right now, at 11:00 PM, waiting to kill me.

I predict that this might end up being a nasty little colony. We'll see.
 

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Does anyone else collect swarms at night?
Not only at night.
But in the rain works just as well (preferably not pouring rain with thunder - but done that too).
Pouring T-Storm at night was the craziest I have done yet.
Ended up kind of like this (some bees in a nuc, some bees in a soaked wet cardboard hip - turned out OK):
20170612_214533_2.jpg
The only thing to be aware and ready for - crawling bees.
Be sure to tuck in your garments and scan yourself well afterwords - could be an ugly surprise sting someplace.
 
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