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Discussion Starter #1
Just caught first swarm and put it in the hive body. My question is what are the chances of them abandoning the hive.
 

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I don't think anyone can give you a precise answer. In my experience they usually will stay once re-hived! but sometimes won't. You can improve the odds by giving them a frame or two of drawn comb and stores, even more so if you give them some brood.

Once hived I would advise not to bother them for a couple of weeks while they settle in. Queens can take several weeks to start laying after a swarm.
 

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No way to really put a number on it. I ran about 50/50 this year, last year probably 70/30, but factors are so varied. Some may say put some brood in there, but I've never been willing to take the gamble. Drawn comb absolutely helps, but still no guarantees. What did you put in the box for equipment? Good luck! Hope they stay for you!
 

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No way to really put a number on it. I ran about 50/50 this year, last year probably 70/30, but factors are so varied. Some may say put some brood in there, but I've never been willing to take the gamble. Drawn comb absolutely helps, but still no guarantees. What did you put in the box for equipment? Good luck! Hope they stay for you!
They are in a 10 frame deep with 5 of the frames foundation and 5 with out. Thanks for the advice.
 

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The rest is purely up to the bees! I suggest moving them (ohhh so gently) after dark to the location you will keep them permanently. They will automatically re-orient since they were already in swarm mode. If they're still in the box this time tomorrow, they will likely stay. Three days seems to be the magic number. Once I see they're still there on day 3, I count them as a new addition. Good luck!
 

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I recently hived a swarm into a top bar hive (about 3 weeks ago) and gave them 8 top bars worth of space to start off. The bars had comb guides and nothing more. I stuffed some grass in the entrance and left them in there for 3 days and then took the grass out. They've been there ever since. I feel like once they start to build comb and the queen lays in it they aren't as likely to abandon it
 

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I boxed one up two nights ago and went to pick them up last night and managed to bring about 15 bees home. :) For some reason this particular swarm decided to find a better spot than my furnished apartment - 10 frames of drawn comb. I sprayed a few frames down pretty good with some sugar syrup and smeared lemon balm in the cover but that didn't work either. This was the first time I have had one leave on me so I am wondering if they didn't like the comb, it was few years old - from a dead out but "clean".
 

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Space and heat are the keys I've found. I've gone the last two seasons without losing a swarm and have caught about 40.

Here is my recipe:
Give them one more box then you think they need, especially big swarms
previously used boxes
2 or 3 drops lemon grass oil
mostly foundationless frames with just two or 3 frames of drawn comb per box to act as guides. Swarms love to festoon and you want to give them that room
Afternoon Shade
Solid bottom board
Wide open entrances
Move them only after dark their first or second evening to their permanent location and don't put them too close to other hives
Leave primary swarms alone for at least a week, secondary swarms 3 weeks

Good luck. ....Don
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Space and heat are the keys I've found. I've gone the last two seasons without losing a swarm and have caught about 40.

Here is my recipe:
Give them one more box then you think they need, especially big swarms
previously used boxes
2 or 3 drops lemon grass oil
mostly foundationless frames with just two or 3 frames of drawn comb per box to act as guides. Swarms love to festoon and you want to give them that room
Afternoon Shade
Solid bottom board
Wide open entrances
Move them only after dark their first or second evening to their permanent location and don't put them too close to other hives
Leave primary swarms alone for at least a week, secondary swarms 3 weeks

Good luck. ....Don
I don't have any drawn frames to spare. I have a small clump of bees hanging on the side but there are still bees going in and out of the hive. Any suggestions.
 

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I don't have any drawn frames to spare. I have a small clump of bees hanging on the side but there are still bees going in and out of the hive. Any suggestions.
If they are still there this morning (doubtful) and it's a small group (less then say a cup) I would just scrap them off the side gently with a thin piece of cardboard and just lean the cardboard right up to the entrance so the bees can walk on in, sometimes bees get stuck. If it's a bigger clump than that you're probably dealing with an afterswarm with multiple queens and there is a virgin queen in that clump of bees on the outside of the hive. In that case I would scrap them off the side and dump them in a small nuc 5' away.

What ever you do, leave your original swarm catch alone now. You probably have them caught. Good luck.

Don
 
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