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Discussion Starter #1
I posted this under "Post Your Swarm Dates" but I would also appreciate any suggestions to help a late swarm make it.

Yesterday I was doing someyardwork in Southeast Michigan when I noticed one of my hives was getting a lot of action. I watched for a while and thought it was an orientation flight, a lot of the bees looked like they were coming out 8 to 10 feet from the entrance, circling a little bit and then going back inside. Cool I thought that is kind of fun to see. Then after a couple more passes across the yard I saw the bees boiling out of the hive, and the air was filled with the buzzing of the bees.

I stood in the middle of the swarm, my wife said it looked like I was completely surrounded but none really came within 2 to 3 feet of me. The cloud slowly rose about 30 feet in the air and then hovered over our back fence and finally after about 20 minutes it had settled in a tree in the empty lot behind our house, about 30 feet up in a branch.

We got an empty nuc from the garage and set it up directly beneath them, and I saw a few bees checking it out, after a couple of hours I checked again and saw 5 - 10 bees going in and out and all around it, so I was feeling pretty good that they might commit. The only other thing nearby is an old wood pile and I would not want to have to try to cut them out of there. Or my garage attic... again, not eager to do a cut out.

So I kept an eye on the swarm up in the tree, and at 9:00 last night as it was getting dark, there they are still up there. So I watched a movie and went to bed. When I awoke this morning I thought I would see if I had had any luck and they were still up in the tree. So now I have to wait until I get home from work to see what they have decided.

So, a couple of questions, is it unusual for a swarm to overnight on a tree branch?

Is it too late in the season for a swarm to survive, I heard somewhere "a swarm in july isn't worth a fly"?

What about the colony that the swarm came from? They seem very healthy, I had just checked them the day before, the top medium is almost half full of honey.

Also another note, this hive was the second of three swarms that came from my first hive this May. So I have gone from 1 hive to 5 in just one year.

Great Day!
 

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Re: July Swarm -- Try Tanging

If you ever encounter this again, you can "tang" the bees back into the hive. Get an old metal pot or frying pan and a large spoon; and take it to the hive. While standing nearby, start whacking the pot for several minutes. This will make the bees return to the hive and not swarm. Then you can look for the swarm queen and remove her.

Sounds crazy. It works. This is not a joke.

JSM
 

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I'd rather catch the swarm and have a split. There's nothing wrong with a swarm this time of year, but I wouldn't expect anything in the way of honey from them. If you really wanted to, let it go for a few days and find the old queen and pinch her then do a recombine. The only down side to that is, sure, you'll have all your bees back in one hive, but theres still going to be a 2 to 3 week gap in your brood, which you are already in the middle of, the damage in my mind is done. So I say, let bees do what bees do and "enjoy your new hive."

C2
 

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Wow, I thought the "a swarm in July" concept worked for splits too. So I could make a split this late in the summer and still be fine? I assume I'd have to feed like crazy...

How late in the year is too late to make splits then? I'm going for maximization of hives right now, not honey.
 

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Here in ND - July is the back half of swarm season! I have caught one in mid-June and lost two in late June. Got a call for a big one just last week (but missed it).

Get them in a hive, feed them like crazy - I have had them pull and fill 2 deeps before October and then get through winter.
 

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JS, here in Maine we have a great fall flow with golden rod, and aster, no trouble at all to build up with that going on! Where I am all the feilds just got cut, there should be one more run of clover, then on to the fall flows.
 

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Technically, I would say the swarm in July concept and splits can they same depending on the area you are in and whats going on with a flow, but why not look past this season's honey production and look towards next years? I caught a swarm last year at the end of June and this year, it's going neck and neck for top producer against the November captured colony.

C2
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the advice andf tips, unfortunately when I got home from work yesterday at about 4:30 the swarm was gone. My wife had checked it at 3:30 and it was still there, but left to run some errands.

Of course, I am not sure how I could have gotten it without some long ladders and help, it was about 30 feet up on a branch.

In other news, all three hives are still going strong, even the one that just swarmed.

Great Day!
 

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Well, console yourself that at least you made a contribution to the well-being of the environment by contributing pollinators to the community via your lost swarm! ;) Believe me, many of us have been there done that...if a swarm alights too high to catch...oh well. Mother Nature got that swarm for herself.
 

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unfortunately when I got home from work yesterday at about 4:30 the swarm was gone.
Sorry to hear about that, been there, done that too. I have missed sooooo many swarms this year because of work, but wanna flip side of that? My days off are Thursday/Friday. Last Thursday, swarm showed up at work in the afternoon and they called someone ELSE to come and get it on Friday! So now I am missing swarms because of work and missing swarms because I'm NOT at work! :doh: I have not seen a swarm in a month, Saw pleanty earlier this year, but I seem to keep missing what is still out there.

C2
 
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