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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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hey all,

I have 4 established colonies, 3rd season. Have never caught a swarm. However my friend called me and has what looks like an establishing colony (see pic) on a bench outside his house. they arrived a few days ago and from the pic it looks like there are wax cappings on the ground-- so my guess is they're making comb and setting up shop.

I actually need a new queen for a hive. while I'm not crazy about using the genetics from a swarmed colony, beggars can't be choosers.

I understand how to catch a swarm from a branch etc by shaking into a box. But how would I go about this if there is already some comb etc? Should I do this in evening? smoke them and just try to shave off the comb and transfer into cardboard nuc box? I don't think there will be a way to shake them down into the box.. and I don't have a bee vacuum..

ideas?

obviously my main goal is to preserve that queen... I'm guessing will be very hard to find her in this ball of bees
 

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Get a spray bottle full of 1:1 syrup and gently mist the outside then brush the misted layer down into a box or a nuc if you can fit it underneath. Repeat as necessary until all bees are taken. If there's comb see if you can salvage it otherwise have a spare frame of brood from another hive ready to put into their final home to keep them there.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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nice place for them no ladder needed

is your hive queen less or just a sucky Queen? In a week they could be combined...
By tomorrow you will no longer be able to say you have never captured a swar before.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DO I smoke them at all? Or just spray/brush? And-- ok to leave them in the nuc cardboard box overnight or should I transfer them to a real nuc box even in the dark/cold? (prob low 40's later)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
GG-- the hive I'm concerned about is post swarm/has a few QC's but they're already backfilling bigtime. Still have gobs of bees which is odd but they def swarmed. So I'd rather smush the QC's and introduce this queen to that hive tomorrow, and then disperse these swarmed bees to another colony that's a bit light on bees though has a laying queen.
 

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i would put them in the final NUC spot as soon as you can Dark and cool is good as they will not likely take off one you, if 40s or less go easy on the spray wet cold bees do not do well. Even tak the NUC and put it under the swarm, if needed gently lift the table and place a block under to fit it better. or a short box and dump them into the NUC right there.
 

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hmmm why not let a queen hatch and keep this one separate? then decide, did you want increase?
Any chance this is your swarmed out Queen? :) how close is it to you place
GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
nah- it's about 30min drive from my place (otherwise I'd wonder the same!).

all went well-- super easy and docile, I jacked the bench up on cinderblocks and put the box right under like you suggested. no smoke, just a bit of syrup spray and brushed them in easy enough. Even found the queen walking around at the end and gently picked her up and put her in the box. Hived them in a nuc box and threw some 1:1 up top.

I don't want another colony-- I have four which is my max I think. I figure I can use this queen in the one colony that needs and then boost my weaker number colonies with the workers. Maybe not the best use of a swarm but works for me as long as that queen survives and starts laying (I'll do a good inspection for virgin queen/QC's before putting her in).

Thanks for advice!! Can't believe how well it went!
 

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nah- it's about 30min drive from my place (otherwise I'd wonder the same!).

all went well-- super easy and docile, I jacked the bench up on cinderblocks and put the box right under like you suggested. no smoke, just a bit of syrup spray and brushed them in easy enough. Even found the queen walking around at the end and gently picked her up and put her in the box. Hived them in a nuc box and threw some 1:1 up top.

I don't want another colony-- I have four which is my max I think. I figure I can use this queen in the one colony that needs and then boost my weaker number colonies with the workers. Maybe not the best use of a swarm but works for me as long as that queen survives and starts laying (I'll do a good inspection for virgin queen/QC's before putting her in).

Thanks for advice!! Can't believe how well it went!
Sweet, once you make a few "captures" it can get addicting.
Sure you can use it however it helps your Apairy.

You MAY want to consider doing your treatment protocol on it prior to mixing it with your bees, For example if you OAV doing it now when there is no brood in the swarm is supposed to be 90% at getting rid of the mites.

An option that could keep the new bees separate from your bees is to place the swarm in the position of the weak colony, "replace"
Newspaper combine the weak to the one needing the queen. Then you are mixing your bees with your bees and the swarm is separate until you evaluate it.
Likely 3 or 4 ways to skin the cat.
Hey thanks for the update.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks- yeah I've got to give it some thought as to best way to use them. But I def will take your advice for OAV prior to combining! Great call.
 
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