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Discussion Starter #1
My bees swarmed. I climbed ladder and brought them down 2 hours after they clumped on a branch. All I had was a medium super to put them in. I removed some frames and shook them in best I could. Then I saw some remained in a beard up the tree, went and got them too.

Shook them in. Huge mess! I don't have a bottom board so I put the super on a wire mesh lounge chair on the deck in the shade. With Inner cover and outer cover, again no bottom board, I overhung the medium off the chair so they can come and go. I sprayed the frames of box with sugar water to make it attractive for them to stay.

Bees are EVERYWHERE! The ones that didn't make it in the hive are all over the place with their buts in the air and wings cranking. Whats that mean?

The branch they came from was laying next to hive on deck and they are starting to beard back on that. GRRRR.

Any hints to what I should do? Next? Is my medium kind of like a NUC or starter hive? I'm hoping I shook the queen into the box. Its so crazy outside I have no idea if I was successful.

Any help appreciated. Tx I don't want to loose these bees I worked so hard to cultivate!!!
 

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Take the branch and shake the bees off on top of the hive and move the branch somewhere else where the bees don't have access to it. They are being attracted to the queen pheromone which is still on the branch.

The bees on the box are releasing a scent and fanning to let the other bees flying around know where the queen is. That's a good thing.

Leave the box where it is for a while and let them settle down. Meanwhile get some kind of bottom board ready.

Take a deep breath and relax. You'll be alright. ;)
 

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Just stay calm and try and make the medium super dark inside and if the queen is in the super you are good. While you are calming down, make a bottom board as well as you can and later today after the bees settle down place the super on the board and the covers and reduce the entrance down about 4 bee widths with small blocks or anything to reduce the entrance.
When it is dark or near dark suit up and move the entire swarm hive to where you want to keep them and place some branches and leaves in front of their entrance so tomorrow morning they will orientate to their new location.
main thing now is just relax about the swarm and make do with what you have. Best not to mess with them too much for a few days.
Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! So I'm hoping I got the queen in the box. Can I assume my old have has a queen in there? Should I order one for the old hive? Should I order one for what is now this NEW hive?

Ok to use that medium as a NUC and grow the hive out from there?
 

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The mother hive will make a new queen. There are most likely a lot of queen cells in there now. No need to order any queens.

It will be fine starting them in a medium. Be prepared to add another box in a week or two.
 

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You are ok so far. No panic, yet. It might help if you put something solid underneath. Even a towel would look solid from the inside.

The fanners are scent-calling the stragglers. It's a fairly effective action. They will all find their way in within a couple hours. Relax and watch. If the nest scouts that were in the field and missed the action continue to collect on the settling limb, move the box back to below that area. They will find your box directly below.
Walt
 

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Try not to disturb them until sunset. They usually stay put. If the queen isn't in the box, they will usually flood out within 5-10 minutes and go find her. And you start over. Most swarms love a nice medium box of frames. Some don't. It's kinda out of your hands, except for minimizing disturbances. That might set the queen off to flee...
 

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Relax. They're just bees. Quickly fashion a solid bottom board out of wood or opaque plastic (no light). Make an opening at least 3/8" tall and from 1 to 4 square inches total size. Drill a 1" to 2" hole in the side of a hive box if you need to. If you think it is the first swarm from that hive this year, you can put a piece of queen excluder over the hole for 3-4 days to keep the queen from leaving. She'll keep the rest of the swarm there. Let us know how you fare.
 

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What kind of a beekeeper are you??? Only a single medium box laying around with no other extra equipment??????? I'll give you kudos that you had frames in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Everyone, thank you for the prompt and helpful hints! I got them in the box and they are staying! I found a real bottom board - and will instal it tonight.

Last question(s) for today.

1) Feed them sugar syrup?
2) Put all frames into box? Or reduce the # of frames?

Again, Tx!
 

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Good Job!!

After sunset, before it gets dark, add the bottom board and move it to it's permanent location in the yard. Fill the box with the full number of frames it holds. It will be getting dark by then so you should not have to worry about them taking off when you remove the top to add frames.

If you have a boardman feeder it wouldn't hurt to slide that into the entrance. You could also add a piece of wood or something to choke down the entrance opening to about 3-4 inches on the opposite side of the feeder.

Then leave them alone for a week or so and relax. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I know, my hoarding instincts failed me this time... I had the mediums because I started a new hive this spring and was waiting to put these onto it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just put my new bottom board on and put the extra frames in. This box is JAMMED with bees. Will move to its new home this evening. Is it ok to put next to the hive they just swarmed from?
 

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Some swarms won't voluntarily stay in their new boxes, but they WILL stay if you add a frame of eggs and larvae to their hive. Brush off the bees from the frame before adding the frame to the swarm hive. I learned the "brush the bees off" trick the hard way. Swarms don't take kindly to introduced bees that the beekeeper puts into their new hive.

Food for thought, if you want more bees:

Since the box is so full of bees, you can check your original hive and see how many capped queen cells you have. If you have more than one frame containing capped cells, you could use one frame with a queen cell and split the newly hived swarm.....
 

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If it's a few feet away from the mother hive you should be ok.

Brad has some good ideas, but in your case, I would just leave them alone once you get them moved. Sounds like they are already settled in.

It would be a good idea to do an inspection of the original colony as soon as you can and see what you have there. If it's loaded with capped queen cells you may want to cut out all but a few to prevent afterswarms.
 

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It would be a good idea to do an inspection of the original colony as soon as you can and see what you have there. If it's loaded with capped queen cells you may want to cut out all but a few to prevent afterswarms.
This is very good advice. I like 2 on the same frame. If its packed you mite want to get another box on when you can.
 

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It sounds like you have done a fine job today. Regarding your questions:
"1) Feed them sugar syrup?"
I would not at this time. A lot of folks would.
"2) Put all frames into box? Or reduce the # of frames?"
Leaving them alone is good, but having the box full is good. On balance, I would do what Mike said. ("Fill the box with the full number of frames it holds.") Good luck. But, sometimes a swarm's just got to swarm.
 
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