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I've trapped a swarm in a 5 frame deep nuc and need to relocate it to the bee yard. I know I need to move it because it seems that there are hundreds/thousand or so bees that are constantly (day and night) bearding on the face and beneath the hive. I live in coastal NC and its been in the high 90s for a couple of weeks and could be why they aren't all inside the hive. We tried to move the hive after dark this past weekend and things went poorly. Unfortunately this first attempt to move them resulted in myself, my son, and my wife battling angry bees (with my son and I being stung). The nuc is about 15 ft up in a tree. It is attached to the tree with a ratchet strap. It was difficult to block the entrance with #8 mesh because of the front of the hive being covered with bees. Smoking them did not help. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've attached a pic to give an idea of what the set up looks like.

swarm.jpg
 

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I would improvise a pulley by ratcheting a PVC elbow (like a sink p-trap), upside-down, above the colony. Feed some rope through the elbow, tie around the colony, get some tension on the rope from the ground and loosen the first strap. Then, lower the hive to the ground. Much easier to work down there.
 

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ITs waaay easier to make suggestions from several states away :)
wear protective gear, plug the hole, vacuum every one left out side.
leave another nuc on site to pick up any stragglers.
Good Luck!
 

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When you say leave another nuc, do you mean up in the tree or on the ground 15 feet below? How do I vacuum bees?
 

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Can you simply pull the frames, one by one, put them in a deep on the ground, wait until night fall when most or all of the bees will have made their way down to where the queen is , close them up and move them?

Wayne
 

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Research "bee vac".
Borrow or build one.
beg, borrow, rent or buy generator to run the the bee vac, & a cord to get the noisy thing away from the work site.
I did not see the opening to the bait box, round or what ever. prepare a plug you can install at the end of a stick.
If you have another bait box just like it, hang it in another tree & practice doing it from a ladder.
assemble equipment, ladders & supplies, suit up all the crew _well_.
I would suggest doing this at first light., before the bees leave for work. that way the bees are coolest, most indoors possible, you are not bumbling in the dark, & the bees "dark trigger" is not activated.
If it was a cooler night, more of the bees will have gone indoors to keep warm naturally.
When you have secured the opening, & vacumed up the strays, secure the lid to the box as needed.
lower it how ever you planned to when you put it up, ( maybe go higher up the tree with a pulley & rope to let it down, if you are figuring it out as you go )
Leave a nuc on the site to collect any stray bees, on a box, or bricks or something, not on the dirt, but I wouldn't climb the tree with it, myself.
come back at night, stopper the nuc & take it home.
install another bait hive on the tree.

> NOW, truth in posting ... I have never removed a bait box from a tree , myself, ever. I speak with the confidence & Idealism that reality has not defeated yet. <
I have moved hives wrapped in tull netting, wrapped in sheets, not wrapped in anything, just smoked them a little, they went in & I stoppered.
smoking & stoppering worked best _so far_ on the one occaision I used it on some smallish nucs. every colony, & situation is different.
being "boots on the ground", you may see obvious flaws with my plans from the safety of far away. If you see no flaws, look again!
seriously, Good Luck. CE
 

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Why do people put the swarm trap so High? I never put one over 6 feet up, and have caught over 40 swarms this year. 8 frame boxes. Never a problem. I smoke the bees in at night screw on a screen and take them home.
 

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I found an easy way.I bought some of those waxed card board nuc boxes.When I catch a swarm I will remove all the frames andput in the waxed card board box and put it right back where the trap was.Then at dark or early morning before the bees are out moving I just push in the yellow stopper and take them home! Very few bees lost.Oh and I will put the swarm trap right back where it was in the tree and full of frames for the next bunch to move in..
 

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yes Wayne that is the super duper way. ( I don't have a bee vac either :(
-edit--
original text , removed by tech.35058, inappropriate.. My apologies to Firestix & the forum.

Perhaps some of the more knowledgeable forum members will give you ( Firestix ) more practical advice, or better yet, perhaps some one local to you will volunteer to assist you with this task.
Congrats on trapping a swarm,
Good Luck ... CE
 

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Discussion Starter #13
yes Wayne that is the super duper way. ( I don't have a bee vac either :(
-edit--
original text , removed by tech.35058, inappropriate.. My apologies to Firestix & the forum.

Perhaps some of the more knowledgeable forum members will give you ( Firestix ) more practical advice, or better yet, perhaps some one local to you will volunteer to assist you with this task.
Congrats on trapping a swarm,
Good Luck ... CE
tech,
I'm just gonna plug the intake, build a bee vac, and use the pool cleaning hose (about 18 ft long) to attach to a long pole and vacuum them up. I'll do this in the morning as to avoid the "dark trigger". (Can you elaborate on the "dark trigger"? I get the idea but have never heard of it. Maybe point me to a place where I can read up one this behavior.)
 

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Do this. Take some some #8 mesh and instead of sealing of the front, fold it over and make a box that you can slip over the front of the hive and staple it in place. Use a lot of staples.
 

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Do this. Take some some #8 mesh and instead of sealing of the front, fold it over and make a box that you can slip over the front of the hive and staple it in place. Use a lot of staples.
Good idea!

@firestx: Next time place the trap about 5-7 feet from the ground. Much easier to handle. I never place traps higher than that
 

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Perhaps some of the more knowledgeable forum members will give you ( Firestix ) more practical advice,
Sure, glad to. See post #6. Or see Snapper1d's post.

Worked for me, takes all of about 10 minutes plus a trip back in the evening to pick them up, no gadgets required, few if any stragglers as they find their way to the queen and the bees are already in their new brood box when I get them to their new home. Move the frames during the day when the foragers are out in the field rather than in the dark when disaster is all but assured. They'll find their way to the queen.

Almost too easy I guess. Seems like Firestix is going the high-tech route to move his 5 frame nuc. Good luck with the move.

Wayne
 

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Dark Trigger
just a quick way of saying that working in the hive after dark is a bad idea, full pro bee suit or not.
When I run out of time, & it gets dark while I am still dinking around in the hives, as it gets darker the bees get more & more defensive, almost suddenly. ( they get serious about driving me away. )
IF you can keep them in the hive to start with, you are ok, but those that wont go in the hive get mean.
All of the ways suggested will probably work, but suit up tight, & plan on murphy's law. Good Luck ... CE
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sure, glad to. See post #6. Or see Snapper1d's post.

......Seems like Firestix is going the high-tech route to move his 5 frame nuc. Good luck with the move.

Wayne
I tacked the lid to the nucs down with my nail gun to make sure they didnt topple. (Not too many nails, just a few to make sure the lid stays in place) This does, however, make it difficult to lift the lid, and pull the frames while being 15 feet up on a ladder.

I chose to go the "high tech" way because:
1- It was surprisingly cheap. About $6 for the parts. (everyting else I had on hand)
2- We dont have full coverage pro suits, just tops, and my son is now a little "gun shy".
3- Just having one will be handy. (I could have used it to capture a swarm earlier this summer that was
bundled up in some honeysuckle vines.)
4- I like to tinker.
 

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I'm with chemguy only you build the lowering rigging when you install the trap. One end of the lowering line goes to a trigger that you invent to release the tie around the tree. The other end goes over a convenient limb or through whatever passes as the top pulley and back to the eyebolt you installed in the top cover before you nailed it on. Now take tension on the lowering line, jerk the trigger line and lower away. The rope and rigging add trivial cost and you don't have to work on a ladder with irritated bees flying around your head. If you are in a place where people find things and meddle with them leaving the rigging may not work out. I have also read that bees prefer to move into a cavity at that height but lots of people do well with the traps much lower.

None of this helps with the current situation though.
Bill
 

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2-
We dont have full coverage pro suits, just tops, and my son is now a little "gun shy".
.
IF you expect trouble, & all you have are the jacket type gear, go to the thrift store & get a pair of pants about 3 sizes too big. ( preferably not dark colors)
wear them over your other clothes . the floppiness prevents the stinger from getting to you - hope fully.
( I was entertained watching yellow jackets attacking my thrift store work pants, until one attacked through my tee shirt ! )
use an elastic cord to snug the cuffs tight against your boots. My wife uses the thin bungy's from WalMart.
I also use a thin elastic cord to keep my glasses from sliding off the end of my nose
( I guess my nose isn't long enough! :)
Good Luck ... CE
 
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