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I got a call Monday morning for a swarm that the homeowner noticed Saturday evening. By the time I got there Monday night, the bees were just falling from the swarm 1 by 1. Over a thousand bees had accumulated on the ground and roof. They were stumbling around and unable to fly. It did rain pretty hard on Monday as well. Has anyone ever seen this? How long can a swarm last? Could they be starving? The bees are 50 foot off the ground so I don't think they were sprayed by the homeowner.
 

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Yes they will starve, They will starve faster if it is colder. The feeder can sent in a package is intended to feed 5000 bees for 3 days. They could be building comb right where they area also.
 

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They were probably sprayed by someone. Although The cold and wet can affect them, bees usually gorge before swarming, I would suspicious of a swarm that hung out for 3 days with members dying.
 

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Starvation will cause them to act slow and paralyzed etc. But based on past experience, I agree spraying is the more likely cause. I've never figured out why people spray a swarm and then call a beekeeper... it's like you wanting me to adopt your dog after you shot it...
 

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My observation hive swarmed last year. I looked all around to see if I could find them but no success. The next day my friend and I were on the front porch sipping gin&tonic when I looked up high in a black cherry tree only to discover them.....about 30 feet up....too high for a safe capture. I checked on them every day for a full week! One morning they were gone.
 

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A couple years ago one of our hives swarmed and went up into their favorite white pine tree about 30 feet off the ground. The weather was nice when they went, but turned rainy, which persisted for several days. The swarm just sat there in the cool rain, and amazingly just died off within 3 or 4 days. It was frustrating and heart-breaking.
 

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Starvation will cause them to act slow and paralyzed etc. But based on past experience, I agree spraying is the more likely cause. I've never figured out why people spray a swarm and then call a beekeeper... it's like you wanting me to adopt your dog after you shot it...
Spraying it didnt work fast enoughso they call a beekeeper.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the feedback. I guess I was wondering if it could be anything besides spraying? The swarm is literally 50' off the ground and I've not seen any home pesticide sprayer that can shoot that far.
 

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What could have been done to save these bees?
I am thinking if you knew you could not get to them for three or four days you could instruct the home owner to make a swarm trap out of a cardboard box and put it at the base of the tree. Maybe they would take the bait and then you could just take them away.
 

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The reason I discounted starvation is the OP's location.Stalled swarms do forage a little and Georgia is in full bloom right now.Also,for the same reason,the temperatures have not been cold enough to kill a swarm even with the light rain.Well,until tonight that is.
@ Acebird..." instruct the home owner to make a swarm trap out of a cardboard box and put it at the base of the tree. Maybe they would take the bait and then you could just take them away."
Brian,if you ever have this happen leave immediately and head for the nearest store that sells lottery tickets.
 

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Brian,if you ever have this happen leave immediately and head for the nearest store that sells lottery tickets.
Somewhere on MB site he speaks of catching swarms by placing a trap at the base of the tree the swarm stopped at. I have to believe it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What could have been done to save these bees?
I am thinking if you knew you could not get to them for three or four days you could instruct the home owner to make a swarm trap out of a cardboard box and put it at the base of the tree. Maybe they would take the bait and then you could just take them away.
I got the call 2 days later and went the same day.
 

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I had luck once getting a swarm to move into a nuc with swarm lure. It was pretty interesting to watch as they moved from high in a tree to the nuc on a stepladder. Once they started it was like watching them swarm all over again. The homeowner was pretty impressed. I went back after dark and picked up the nuc which was bursting at the seams.
 
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