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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All

If all goes well I will be attempting to vacuum up a fair size swarm (what U think) right after daylight in the morning if they are still there:}

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My first crack at it so....assuming that I get them and make the approx 30 min ride home should I simply shake them into my TBH as soon as I get back and simply close up the hive?

It's a brand new NEVER Occupied Hive or is there something else I need to be aware of or do?

Any suggestions of any kind would truly be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
 

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Forget the vacuum, get a cardboard box or your TBH, place it under the swarm, shake the branches vigorously, repeat until most of the bees are in your box, close and take home
Wear a veil for safety even though a wet swarm is relatively harmless
If it is a wooden box you can tap on it slowly.
It would be better if it is the girls decision to enter the box rather than throwing them in there. Girls can be finicky and leave when it is not their idea. Cutting the actual branch the bees are on is counterproductive and unnecessary also.
 

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Someone has mentioned that a couple of drops of lemongrass oil in the new hive might improve the success rate. I did this for my two packages. I don't know if it made any difference. But, I still have my bees.;)
 

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I would use a solid, not screened, bottom on the TBH when hiving a swarm cluster. I would also use some cardboard and a white sheet to let them walk into the hive themselves. Langstroth paraphrased something like, "A bee convinced against her will, is of the same opinion still." See if you can spot the queen going in. If she has mated, put her in a queen clip or queen cage for 2 days. Then let her out, but put a piece of queen excluder over the entrance for 4 more days. I'm not as big on open brood or LGO when you hive a swarm cluster. Afternoon shade or an extra cover till the bees settle in and get some nectar and ventilation going would be nice in Lizard Creek this time of year. Others would do differently. I hope it goes well.
 

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If you have a basket or box that you can put your top bars on shake them into that and then leave them til the evening. If they start building on the bars so much the better. The transfer is then just lifting out the bars (with the cluster on) and putting them into your hive. I have heard a few drops of lemon grass oil and old comb helps, but do make sure if you have a screen bottom it is covered and that the hive is a little weathered, they don't seem to like fresh sawn timber.
 

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As americasbeekeeper.com mentioned, wear a veil. I'm getting more and more convinced that I want a veil on my face when I'm working with bees...for my eyes. I also have curly hair which the bees tend to get tangled in. :pinch:

I've found that the location of the swarm has (for me) something to do with the inclination of the bees to sting. I've worked swarms in open fields that were as tame and docile as could be...no veil or anything and sitting beside the box with a cloud of bees swirling around me. But, this year the swarms from my hives decided they liked a privet hedge thicket. There was an opening below the canopy of the thicket that I worked in but it still created a closed-in area with bushes all around. Those bees tended to sting when I was hiving them...not bad, but every now and then one would take issue with one of my hands. I can only think that the surrounding branches kind of corralled them into the small area and they became more defensive because of it.... :s

I also agree not to vacuum but rather to shake. If you have a queen clip and can catch the queen with it put her in the box while in the clip. I like to dump them straight into a hive body but I use Langs and that might not be possible with your TBH, so a copy paper box will have to do. Put something in the box for the bees to cluster on but won't fall and mash bees. Some old comb would be nice for "smell".

Carry a 5-gallon bucket and use it to "hit" the cluster with rather than the cardboard box....it looks like you've got a fair mass of limbs to deal with and the cardboard would probably collapse after a few firm impacts with the limbs. When you knock the cluster into the bucket quickly dump it over into cardboard box.

You could even use some cord/small rope and duck tape to attach the bucket to a long handle...pool skimmer handle, broken garden utensil handle, squeegee handle, etc.,...a few extra feet of reach can be nice! Naturally, trimming a few small limbs out of the way will help give you a better opening to bump the main limb.

The bees will recluster on the limb...over and over again. They've been there a couple of days and the queen/swarm scent is heavily deposited on that branch. Just let them recluster and bump them with the bucket again and pour them in the box.

Finally, if you have the time, set the box on the ground below where the swarm cluster was. Close the box up with a small hole in one end for them to enter/exit and leave until dark. Come back after dark, seal the box and carry them home. If you're in a hurry then get all of them that you can and at least give them 30 minutes or an hour so the fanning bees can attract some of their flying sisters to the box. Then close them up and carry them home...eventually the bees left behind will drift off "somewhere", hopefully finding another colony to join.

One more thing, keep an eye on that bush/tree...another swarm may very likely "magically" appear there! ;) (which is another good reason not to cut the limb their clustering on).

Anyhow, that's some "thoughts for the day"....worth the price you paid for them.<grin>

Best wishes and have fun!!!
Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok folks had to end up using the Vac owner didn't want to cut anything.

Also the branch seemed to big to simply shake:{

After 3 up and down trips on the ladder, allowing for them to resettle on the branch i feel I got 95% of them:} They were very very calm :}

Left them on the ground under the tree for approx an hour( 7am -8am )allowing others to decide whether they wanted to move to Lizard Creek or not:}

Drove home finished prepairing my TBH for it's new peeps and as gentle as I could eased them into the hive which was still in the morning shade.

They seemed somewhat disturbed however after about 30 minutes everyone I'm assuming is in their new condo?

I placed sugar water behind a follower board for food. I have them in an area that has 15 bars as of now hopefully not to big or small an area.

I have one 1 1/2 inch entrance open right now on south side of hive was wondering is this enough? I can open more , what do you folks think?

Thanks in advance, I'm keeping my fingers crossed, any advice as to what else I should do would very much be appreciated!

OH ALMOST FORGOT....I have the hive where I can open /slide down the bottom board which is screened for ventilation...I have it drawn up closed now but can open it in a matter of seconds:]

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hummmmm...Uh Ok :}

Well seems like they are still in the hive as of 10:15am this morning

I' guess I did ok we'll see lol
 

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Good form using the level on the topbar hive. Make sure that there is a little ventilation at the top. Leave a couple of little gaps (⅛") between some topbars over what will become the brood area to allow the hot air to escape. It's mainly the bottom ventilation (and too much light) that I would want to close off to prevent a hived swarm from absconding. Others would do differently. I hope this continues well.
 
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