Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone - thanks for accepting me to the forum. I have done a very silly thing - a swarm passed through earlier today, and collected on a broken branch on the ground near my other 2 hives. I had a hive ready, so went and collected the swarm directly into the hive. I wasnt thinking and now the hive is not facing the same direction as the other hives (it is about 4 metres from them). Is this going to prove to be a problem? Should I block it up and move it closer and facing same direction as the other hives? Many thanks! Oh, and the new swarm seem to have taken to their new home.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,220 Posts
If the swarm is in the hive then good.
Why do they need to be the same? I on purpose face mine different so they can better find the correct hive. Less drift.
As well the new swarm "could" have a virgin queen, she will need to find her way back , so different orientations are ok for that reason.
You can turn/spin the hive 20-30 degrees every 2-4 days, Also can shift it 3/4 of a hive width every day or 2.

So do some adjustments as you feel the need just go slow. When they come back to the old spot if you have the hive "close enough" they will find it and make adjustments.

Congrats on the swarm catch
GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If the swarm is in the hive then good.
Why do they need to be the same? I on purpose face mine different so they can better find the correct hive. Less drift.
As well the new swarm "could" have a virgin queen, she will need to find her way back , so different orientations are ok for that reason.
You can turn/spin the hive 20-30 degrees every 2-4 days, Also can shift it 3/4 of a hive width every day or 2.

So do some adjustments as you feel the need just go slow. When they come back to the old spot if you have the hive "close enough" they will find it and make adjustments.

Congrats on the swarm catch
GG
Oh that's great - thanks so much Gray Goose - that's helpful! I'm so excited and can't believe it went so well. Fingers crossed they stay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Arrgh - the swarm absconded last night! They were there until it got dark, as I kept a check on the hive and this morning - gone. Any suggestions as to why they might do that? Thanks,
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,548 Posts
So many different reasons are possible. Did you have drawn comb in the hive, it always helps. Did you see the queen. The swarm could have been queenless and gone back to the originating hive. Scouts from the swarm may have found a better location and they all went at the first opportunity. Look around to see if they reclustered nearby, maybe even the same branch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
So many different reasons are possible. Did you have drawn comb in the hive, it always helps. Did you see the queen. The swarm could have been queenless and gone back to the originating hive. Scouts from the swarm may have found a better location and they all went at the first opportunity. Look around to see if they reclustered nearby, maybe even the same branch.
Thanks. I had new frames with wax foundation. I’ve checked around to see if they are nearby, but no. Perhaps we didn’t get the queen inside - oh well, hopefully another one will come along. :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,548 Posts
Look in your other two hives and see if you have an empty outer frame of drawn comb. If you do, remove it and place it in your new hive (2×). Fill the rest of the box with empty frames, no foundation. I feel when hiving a fresh swarm, you need to emulate the conditions they are looking for. Either preexisting drawn comb or space. The 10 frames of wax foundation did not meet either one of those needs. If it was a new box, it also did not smell like bees, another helpful aspect. Once the swarm gets established in a week or so, you can remove one or two of the empty frames and replace them with foundation.

Leave the hive with the empty frames and the drawn comb on the hive stand. Add a drop or two of Lemon Grass Essential Oil to the top of a frame and maybe a swarm will find your box and move in on their own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
Good job getting the swarm! As GG said, I also like to alternate entrance directions to hopefully minimize drift.

For swarms captures, you may think about using a queen excluder to help. I install a queen excluder between the bottom board and the bottom hive body. This helps to keep the queen in place. Once they draw some of the foundation and she begins laying, I remove it. If I suspect the swarm has a virgin queen (i.e. the comb is deep enough for eggs, but there aren’t any), I will remove the excluder after a few days to enable her to go mate.

Some smaller-thoraxed queens can slip through an excluder. Yesterday I was surprised to see a virgin queen come out the front door of a hive set up in this configuration. After she left I quickly removed the excluder and sat there and watched. About 45 minutes later she returned and I could see “drone leftovers” on the tip of her abdomen. Pretty neat to witness!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Sorry to hear you lost a swarm, it happens sometimes. But the good news is that now you know of a swarm location! Chances are, if other swarms happen in your area they will congregate at that same place so keep an eye on it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Look in your other two hives and see if you have an empty outer frame of drawn comb. If you do, remove it and place it in your new hive (2×). Fill the rest of the box with empty frames, no foundation. I feel when hiving a fresh swarm, you need to emulate the conditions they are looking for. Either preexisting drawn comb or space. The 10 frames of wax foundation did not meet either one of those needs. If it was a new box, it also did not smell like bees, another helpful aspect. Once the swarm gets established in a week or so, you can remove one or two of the empty frames and replace them with foundation.

Leave the hive with the empty frames and the drawn comb on the hive stand. Add a drop or two of Lemon Grass Essential Oil to the top of a frame and maybe a swarm will find your box and move in on their own.
Thank JWPalmer. That's all very interesting. I have read about lemon grass oil. It was an old hive that a friend gave me last year. I had cleaned it up and had new frames. I do read a lot about what to do and how to do, but so much of it seems to come from my instincts and I did wonder about giving them more space. Thanks for confirming that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Nelsonhoneyfarms - that's interesting about the queen excluder! I love these groups/forums as you learn so much.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top