Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This evening, I went to my one bee yards and within two feet of a hive, was a small swarm clinging to a bush that was about 2 to 3 feet away from the hive. It was so easy to go capture the swarm.

I got to thinking that the queen probably doesn't have a clue what is outside her hive, so she is likely to fly straight out and land on the nearest thing.

What makes this particular yard so neat is that the landowner provided land that he wasn't using where small trees and shrubs are growing on three sides of its paremeter. So far, I have captured 4 of my own mini swarms at chest level and below.

If one has the option to create the beeyard, then why not design it for easy swarm capture, since it most likely that sooner or later your bees are going to swarm.

1) I am going to mow up to the bush line so that I don't have to traipse thru poison ivy and honeysuckle vines.

2) I am going to position my hives closer to the bush line where the entrance way is pointing to the bushes. My plans are to keep my hives about 2 to 3 feet away from the bush line.

3) For those hives that don't have the luxury of pointing to a bush/tree barrier, I am going to look at creating an artificial barrier, perhaps some permanent silk trees or planting some arbivitae or something like that.

I would appreciate your ideas on how I might design a beeyard for easy swarm capture. Thanks. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
we run into the same thing here, one of my yards is on a palm tree farm, several times a year we find (or the farm workers find) a swarm hanging off a juvenile palm tree 2 or 3 feet off the ground and 20 feet from the bees. Easy to catch. We also keep several swarm traps around each yard. In one of my other yards 2 swarm traps each caught a swarm while my bees were off working the orange bloom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,532 Posts
My yards that are adjacent to old growth hardwoods always have their swarms out of easy reach and sometimes dangerous heights so I don't bother with them. All my yards that are adjacent to low hanging branches and small shrubs have 90% of the swarms at a very easy to reach height.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
I have ready somewhere (can't remember) that the queen doesn't lead the way - bees lead the way (I imagine the scouts or such).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Thats correct, scout bees find a safe place for the swarm to land until they can take up a more suitable location for the colony. At one location (produce farm) where the owner has me keep some of my hives year-round, my hives are located along a tree line with lots of small trees directly behind the hives. Although I hate to see one of my hives swarm, I do find them now and then bunched up on one of the small trees behind the hives. It certainly makes it a lot eaiser to retrieve them. I also put out some empty deep bodies with foundation to capture swarms. It is a lot nicer to find that a swarm has taken up in one of the deeps than to have to capture the swarm and put a hive together for them. Nice all swarms are at eye level of course so it helps.
Big T
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well today, I witnessed first hand a swarm leaving the hive that was directly opposite the bush that was two feet away from it. This swarm went up over the bush and went about 120 feet away from hive when it started to congregate on another bush.

I simply placed a hive with some drawn comb and one honey frame into it and then they landed just a few on top of the frames. Some landed on the side of the hive and then it was like a snowstorm of bees. I even got a glimpse of the queen. She went in and then popped out and I am sorry to say that she flew away. But the bees didn't follow her -- So, I don't know if this swarm had other queens in it or not. I boxed the bees in totally as I have alot of nucs that have queens in them. My goal is to provide them a queen so that they take up residence and are happy bees.

From what I saw today, I believe that the scout bees do lead the way and the queen just follows. What are the odds that I should put down a box right were the mass of bees are just starting to land and the queen lands there first.

Based on this example, I can bet that a swarm designed beeyard won't catch all swarms, but it certainly helps the odds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,569 Posts
A few months ago someone on here posted that he has some success by sinking pipe into the ground - in that pipe he stands pine boughs. The swarm lands on the pine bough, he picks the pine bough out of the pipe takes it over to an empty box and shakes it in. I envisage that would work for yards out in the open where there are few bushes. Adrian.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top