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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my hives has cast a swarm to a nearby limb. I tried to hive them late this afternoon, but they are on a large limb, so had to use a bee brush and couldn't reach them all. Anyway, didnt get the queen as they all had returned to the cluster by nightfall.

Would like to try again in the morning, with a ladder for better reach. But someone told me a swarm can be aggressive if bothered too early, like bothering bees at night. Would appreciate timing advice for tommorrow morning. Have hived a few swarms but all have been gentle. Thank you in advance!
 

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The longer you wait, the less honey they will have, then they will become mean. Suit up and maybe during the morning coolness they will be more lethargic. A light spray of sugar water might help but they usually get mean by the third day when they no longer have honey left. OMTCW
 

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I would suit up and capture them as soon as I could....even at night if possible. Can you tape a bucket to a pole and get up under the swarm and bang the bucket on the limb? A sudden jar usually works better than trying to brush them in.
 

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Nine out of ten beekeepers agree that a fresh swarm is most gentle and not aggressive. Whereas, a swarm which has been hanging somewhere for three days may have used up all or most of the honey in their stomachs, what is some times called a dry swarm, and is therefore hungry and aggressive/defensive, not docile.

I handled a swarm wrapped around a small dogwood trunk a cpl weeks ago, sticking my hand into the thick of the mass of bees scooping them up by hand and dumping them into a hive. Did that about a dozen times getting stung once or twice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They've been in the trees since yesterday afternoon and I am going to try this morning - just wanted to clarify if I should wait till the sun is up any particular amount. Didn't want to have trouble by waking up bees to early!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just wanted to say THANKS for the help. I waited till temps got to mid 50s and sun was on the swarm. Once they started flying a bit, swept them off the limb with a bee brush into a box then hived them. Couldn't get to any brood from my other hives (had to dash off to work) but did put some empty comb that had a bit of honey around the edges. They seemed to like that and were still in the hive at nightfall. Well, the honey or the queen excluder used as an includer seemed to work! Will take that off tomorrow (day 3) in case this is a virgin queen. (Anybody, correct me if I am incorrect.) I'm thinking I should wait a week to check and see if this was an older queen and may be laying? Thank you all for the timely help when it was needed!!
 
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