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hiving a swarm question (did I screw up and how do I fix it)

1361 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  drlonzo
Hello, I'm a newbeek getting myself in over my head a bit, but that's part of learning I think. I started off with 4 hives and really wanted to stay at that number for the first year as It seems like its a good number to go with. The landowner on the yard that i have two of my hives on has a buddy that was interested in a couple hives and I figure I'll put a couple there as it should work out well for everyone. I just happened to come across a swarm on craigslist for $50 that was probably 5 pounds of bees or so. so the weather was poor that day snowy and cold and the like so I got the hive started moving into a Nuc from the box in my Garage, I quickly realized this wasn't going to fit all the bees so I put a full deep with a frame feeder and pollen patties on top of the nuc (I put some boards on the bottom to make sure they didn't' get out, and Had a screened top with a board on top so there was adequate ventilation. after they got a good majority moved up into the deep I then put a bottom board on the bottom and made a screened porch to slide into the entrance (this is still in my garage ~50 degrees or so) put deep and 5 undrawn frames and moved the 5 frames in the nuc to the box, and shook the rest of the bees into there and sealed it all up for a few days.

so if I haven't confused it to much yet I just put the hive outside this afternoon so they could start working on cleansing flights and bring in some real pollen instead of hanging out with the patties. looking in the hive bottom it looks like the bottom deep and top deep both have a full 7 or 8 frames of bees and some dangling off the bottom (my bottom board ledge is 1.5 inches high instead of just .75) now I'm worried that because there are so many bees and I don't have any frames of brood I can stick in there to get em to stick around that they may decide to go swarm off somewhere that they won't harassed by an overly "helpful" beek.

anyone have any tips or tricks I can use to make them feel at home? I was hoping keeping them locked up in the hive would help it get that bee smell they like, and maybe force them to commit to the hive a little more.
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FEED them a little syrup 1:1 and it will help keep them around. However if you want to ensure that they stay put, put a queen excluder on the bottom board and then set your hive body back on it. This will keep the queen in the hive and the syrup will get the girls motivated to get moving on the rest.
I mixed the sugar Heavy 5 parts sugar to 3 parts water, so it stays good a bit longer, is there an advantage to mixing it lighter?
According to Michael Bush - NOPE. You should be good there.
According to Michael Bush - NOPE. You should be good there.
Always add a frame of open brood with honey overhead. This will boost your swarm population and ensure they will stay. They won't leave babies.
Nothing anchors bees as well as a frame of open brood...
so didn't get my excluder on last night, they were bearding down from the bottom bars a bit and didn't want to squish/upset them at night. and then ran out of time this morning getting ready for work. they are bringing in pollen tonight, is this a sign that they have decided that it's an OK place to setup shop, or am I just reading into some bees that decided it's a good idea to grab some pollen that's around?


They'll stay put if you've got pollen coming in.
awesome, I can breath a little easier now!
If pollen is being brought home by the girls it means they are needing it to eat and raise baby bees. They should stay put now without too much problem. Congrats!
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