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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a couple questions on catching swarms. i caught 2 from my own hives, pretty easy, just cut the branch , shake into a box and move to my stand after dark.
does anyone take a container with a screened top or maybe even a pillow case to collect a swarm, then take to your yard and shake them into a box on your stand? gettin most of the bees, but leaving some behind? i would rather leave a box at the site of the swarm and go back and collect after dark, but sometimes this may not be possible. also, if the swarm is on a structure or something you can't move, do you brush them into a container , then shake them into a box? just looking for ways to collect a swarm that isn't a simple cut and shake.
thanks
 

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I shake the bees in the box. Whatever I have in hand, ie cardboard box, plastic container, Ect. I will shake the main amount in here and right after I shake them I try and spot the queen. This will give me assurance that there is a queen. I then leave it there for serval minutes and watch them fly in where the queen is. It may take about 30 mins. You will see them ball up at first, then the ones in the box will fan out. After that the ball of bees will go in the box. You will probably get about 95% of them. If you can take a frame from another hive that has eggs than that is better. If not you can spray the frames with sugar water. This helps them accept it better. I have also put a queen excluder on the bottom and left it for a few days to keep her from flying.
 

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This is how we got the swarm that left my gf's top bar hive and we had to put it in another top bar hive that was already fixed in place on the stand. Brushed from branch of non-cutable fruit tree into rubbermaid box put a bunch of bars over it for a roof with a small entrance so they would congregate. waited a bit so we knew we had a queen, then shook them into the hive about 50' away. even if you are moving further away.. losing a few dozen or whatever in the grand scheme is not a big deal when you're keeping thousands.

 

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I use the cheap office file storage boxes for swarm catching about 2/3rds the time. Just tape over the hand holds and punch a bunch tiny holes in the lid for ventilation.

I like them because a lot of times you can just cut the branch that the swarm is on and gently lower the swarm into the box branch and all without shaking, there by getting 99% of the bees.

Also comes in handy for those swarms that are tough to shake because of their location; just get as many bees as you can shaking or brushing into the box, dump in a hive set up below, keep repeating till the bees give up on their old locations and all start migrating to the hive.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so sometimes you put them in the cardboard box and take them offsite to your yard then dump them in a box?
 

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I would say I have caught more swarms in a cardboard box that a deep.

A file box will fold up flat and only takes some duct tape to seal it up. Always have one in the truck ready to go. A couple of cut outs on the sides and some screen wire duct taped in will give them some ventilation for the ride home.
 

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Make a box ahead of time which is versatile and light for climbing trees and walls. My cardboard box fits over the hive making it easier to install the bees. I have a handle on one side of the box so I can hold it up to a branch and use the other hand to shake or brush. Reinforce the handle with thin plywood hot melt glued on both sides. I like a top that slides on and off making it easier to install the bees later. You can spray paint the outside of the box with almost anything to give it some moisture protection in case of rain or dew. You can put springs or catches to attach the lid in case you need to put them in a car for transport (but be careful because exterior stuff on the box gets caught in leaves and branches always at the wrong time). I enjoy catching swarms and I try to have enough fresh frames and equipment ready to assemble a quick hive during the Spring months.
 

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I take a hive body with some frames of old black comb in it. in the case of a building big fence post or some other unshakable structure gently place the cob against the swarm of bees. They will begin to crawl on it. Once one side is covered turn it and allow the bees to cover the other side. When one frame is totally covered pick up another and repeat until you have most of your bees. Look at the frames to see if you have the queen on there each time. Once you get her in the box (situated close bye) the rest will follow. I don't always use brood comb just when swarms are on things I can't shake.

You will not believe the eagerness a swarm has for drawn black comb.
 

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Beebopp..... Excuse me? Old comb from my own hives is very valuable. Do a little experiment before you discount it buddy boy. Bees love old comb.... See who is nutty. I've done nothing to you....
 

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Beebopp – I would like to know the reference you used to ascertain that bees hate old walked on comb and “don’t like it”.

Why is it that swarm trappers use old comb in their traps? *Why? Because it is ATTRACTIVE TO BEES! *BEES LOVE IT…. *I expressed in the post that I DON’T USE THAT PRACTICE UNLESS THE BEES ARE ON AN IMMOVABLE OBJECT…… *like a building or old wooden fence post. *I have taken swarms off of old wooden corner fence posts MANY TIMES and I assure you that you cannot shake them. *Using old comb is way better for the bees than using a brush.

Crabbydad – I attest that my advice is sound despite what Anne Arundel says, either take it or leave it. *I will allow some of the other seasoned keepers to weigh in on this as I am not going to fight with her in this forum. *Though perhaps a little nutty I don’t comment unless I know what I am talking about.

Anne – I don’t know what makes you the definitive authority to say I am wrong and to be a nasty little BEE, but whatever. *Good luck keeping your bees alive. *I can take being called a nut by someone who is undoubtedly WRONG on the subject of bees being attracted to old brood comb….

I cannot recommend putting old asphalt in your hive. *Let me know how that little experiment goes… *I like the way I look in a veil…. *Any time you want to come work my bees without one come on down to Indiana…. *I will run the camera and take video. *I don’t like getting stung… I will admit it…. Thus the “moon outfit”. *No need to be nasty lady…..
 

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Beebopp..... Excuse me? Old comb from my own hives is very valuable. Do a little experiment before you discount it buddy boy. Bees love old comb.... See who is nutty. I've done nothing to you....
Personally I wouldn't take too much advice from a beekeeper who doesn't think that bees like old black comb. I communicate with Jason and trust me his skills and ideas have worked for me every time. If you want to learn to trap bee swarms you would be wise to visit his blog.
 

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Heh... Ok grammar lady. I will stick with knowing bees..... if making grammar errors makes me a nut.... GUILTY.

Can you explain what a climber is? Why am I an imposter? Do you take mood stabilizing medications?
 

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Old black comb, propolis, bees wax, lemon grass oil, queen pheromones, etc, etc, will attract scout bees to swarm traps........no doubt about it! You will always attract more scout bees to a box that has bee scents in it than just an empty box. Now getting the swarm to move in is totally out of any humans hands. Rule number one.....Bees are bees and do as they please.

Why is it that new swarms are always attracted to places that have had bees in them before.........scent of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
every time i read about swarm traps, they say use old comb, so if i find a swarm on an unmovable object i'll give it a try.
 

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Crabbydaddy - try it and if I'm wrong come back here and let me know... I learned that from an old beekeeper who is no longer with us. Though his grammar may have even been worse than even mine he taught me a lot about bees.
 

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I pulled a swarm out of a tall tree once just using combs and letting the bees walk onto it. Yep did get the queen also (got lucky), it did take a while to do though.
 
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