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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I hived a swarm about a week ago and it hasn't started to make comb yet. They're still in a swarm cluster in the corner of the nuc and not really working. I see bees going in and out of the nuc but for the most part, they're really quiet. Wouldn't they be noisy if they lost their queen?

DB
 

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Not an answer to you're question.
Are you feeding them to encourage them to draw comb?

We caught a swarm a couple weeks ago, I suspected of being queenless, they left after 24 hours in the hive.
 

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You need to feed them and/ or give them a frame of eggs and larva to take care of
 

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If they are still in a swarm cluster, they have not accepted your box. The bees you see coming and going are scouts who are going out and looking for a home.

Give them some drawn comb to help them accept your box. If at all possible, give them a frame of brood from another hive too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately this is the first swarm I've hived. In fact this is my first hive period. I have nothing to give them except sugar syrup. I have no other hives and since I'm doing zero treatments and foundationless beekeeping I can't trust comb from the other beekeeper within the garden club until I have a talk with him to determine how he keeps his bees. I have zero tolerance for contamination.
 

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A person would be wise to worry about getting the swarm to accept the box and getting a colony established before that person worried about how they were going to manage the hive. Otherwise, the swarm may abscond and you may find yourself managing an empty box.

I have zero tolerance for contamination.

How do you plan on preventing the bees from bringing back agricultural chemicals and pesticide laden pollens? Your bees may not pay attention to your zero tolerance policy.
 

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The true test of whether or not they have accepted your box is incoming pollen. If they are bringing pollen, MB is right.
Walt
 

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I the queen had been absent when you shook the swarm into the box, unless confined they would have already absconded and looked for the queen elsewhere. This usually happens within a few hours.
 

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but I had one last year, that set in the box for 3 weeks. they had drawn comb, lemongrass oil, and sugar syrup, and they still didn't accept the hive. I even had a queen excluder under them to keep the queen in. I was requeen ing and eggs weren't readily available to put in. Opened the hive to check on them, and they were up and gone just that quick. you need eggs if you can get them...
 

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Are you feeding them 1-1 sugar water? Is the feed in contact with the cluster? If the bees are in the corner of the box , remove some of the frames from the other side of the box (3 or 4 or 5, whatever is necessary to get the bees to the middle), move all of the frames with the bees on them together as a group to the middle of the hive - just push them over with your hand or hive tool and feed through the hole in the inner cover. a glass jar with 10 -20 holes poked in with a small nail works best. Just make sure you check it every day. If you can't make it to the bees daily, get a bucket feeder and do it the same way.
Best,
-Erin
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yep, I put a baggie of 1/1 sugar water and now they're taking it. They've broke cluster and the last time I checked on them they're festooning and building comb. The box looks busy now. Bees going in and out. Some bringing in pollen I think. I'll have to make a longer observation to determine what is going on. I'm thinking of getting a wooden nuc and putting them in that and taking the cardboard box out and using it for another capture.

Countryboy said:
How do you plan on preventing the bees from bringing back agricultural chemicals and pesticide laden pollens? Your bees may not pay attention to your zero tolerance policy.
I can't do anything about what bees bring in but I certainly can make sure what I put in the hive is clean.
 
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