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Swarm hive - Open or sealed?

1277 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Mr.Beeman
I don't handle many swarms. Once the swarm is installed in their new home should them be sealed up for a period of time or allowed free access outside. I proved frames with honey and an internal feeder with 50/50 sugar water.
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I don't think sealing them will prevent absconding, but just delay it. So i just put swarms in a nuc - 24" TBH - that is small enough for them to defend and feel comfortable, but large enough to grow. With comb and brood, they should stay. Just make sure to watch out for robbing if you have other hives, and shut it down quickly. Robbing will force a swarm to leave.
I'll keep an eye out for robbing. I got sucker punched a few years ago when my son came back from college and, having taken a semester of beekeeping, decided to split two of my hives. I came home from work and it looked like a World War B in the yard. When I asked him why he hadn't blocked the entrances to the hives he said "Eh?" Sadly the split hives rapidly dwindled and were lost.
Honestly, since I've been hiving the bees directly into the hive with drawn frames, I haven't lost one.
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