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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone had luck tanging down a swarm after they clustered?

I ordered a breeder queen from a well known CA supplier, installed her under a queen intro cage so she could start laying, let her out 4 days later, thought all was well.

To my surprise the previous queen had just started swarm preps and unknown to me there were cups with eggs in the hive when I put her in. About a week after releasing her she flew up with most of the hive about 100 feet up into a redwood tree, on a steep hill, with way too much brush to use a bow&arrow on a string, rock on a string, and no way a ladder or other mechanical thing could reach them.

I've put 4 various sized traps around the property in hopes of getting them, but am curious if I sit under them tinging long enough, would they come down?

I've had luck tanging while a swarm is in flight, but this one clustered up before I could get to them.
 

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putting a rifle round thew the cluster at dusk so they fall to the ground and crawl in the a box has been said to work
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a large cluster, probably around a beach ball. The only rifle I took with me when I moved to CA was the .22 and I doubt that would do much. The .40acp likely wouldn't have the aim - nor would it be responsible to shoot those up straight into the sky, even though I'm not in a heavily populated area.

They're still there since yesterday morning. I did try tanging for about 20 minutes but the cluster didn't budge - but my ears are ringing lol
 

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Unfortunately I have never been able to call a swarm down after they have clustered. Like you I have had luck while they are in flight but not after they've settled. I have tanged for hours to try to call down huge swarms I didn't want to lose but to no avail. I have put hives on top of the pickup and or the golf cart, on top of a 10' ladder with swarm lure and without swarm lure and on and on. I've tried at night and during the day but have never had them come to me. Hopefully someone has another idea.
Where I moved from I could shoot down swarms with a rifle as there were hundreds and hundreds of acres behind me that were nothing but endless woods so there was little risk. Where we live now it's totally out of the question.
 

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I too have tanged a swarm in flight down but never a cluster.
You can shoot the limb off with a shogun though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The shooting option would be great, but not really an option here in CA where I am - also being in one of the least gun friendly counties.

The only REAL option I see is using a bow with a string and hoping I can get the arrow to fall through the brush, then pull up a climbing rope to shake them. They are so high I'd almost bet they would go entirely airborne again by the time they hit the ground, but could perhaps tang them down or...something.

Unfortunately we have the tallest trees in the world here, makes swarm catching a bit of a challenge when they decide to go so high. If the tree wasn't at an angle I could easily climb it and cut the branch, but it's at a bit of an angle with no easy approach.

Any other creative ideas? No activity on any of the swarm traps and I have no idea how long they'll stick around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Annnnd their gone.

I ran to the store to grab some string to try the bow and arrow trick. The second I got to the store the Mrs. called saying they were headed out. She chased them for a good while but lost them in the woods.

Hopefully they find a good home and whoever gets them appreciates my expensive queen. :rolleyes:
 

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That's actually pretty clever. We have a number of drones I could have used.
Maybe you could hunt for their hive now. If your wife knows the general direction they flew , just set your honey out and depending how elaborate you want to get. Mark the bees different colors then time each bee. Kinda triangulate where the hive is. it's an event really. But if it's a high $ queen, it would be fun and if found, worth it.
 

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I live in a redwood forest too. I'm a new beekeeper and while I was researching the whole catching swarms thing the highest I found someone doing in was 30ft. There are only a few fruit trees and such around but most of the trees around are a hundred foot tall. Redwoods do have a lot of good climbing branches coming out though. Maybe send a young one up there to cut the limb next time?
 

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A few years ago I got a swarm call and when I got there I was very disappointed because it was about 50' up in a pine tree. I called one of my buddies to come over and we stared at it trying to figure out what to do for about 30 minutes, then magic happened: A few scout bees must have been sniffing around the box I had on the ground without us noticing because as the swarm started to get smaller on the tree, it suddenly was filling my box! :)
 

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A few years ago I got a swarm call and when I got there I was very disappointed because it was about 50' up in a pine tree. I called one of my buddies to come over and we stared at it trying to figure out what to do for about 30 minutes, then magic happened: A few scout bees must have been sniffing around the box I had on the ground without us noticing because as the swarm started to get smaller on the tree, it suddenly was filling my box! :)
Last year I had a call to a swarm that was around 30 feet up in a tree. I was on the top of a 20 foot extension ladder with my 18 foot painters pole with a bucket on the end. Most of the swarm was plastered all over a big, thick branch, but a small portion was dangling. I was able to scoop that piece - maybe 25% - and dump it into my box. I guess I got the queen, because the bees that missed the box started heading in. I couldn’t figure what else to do, so I made arrangements to leave the box and started packing up the van. A neighbor came out to ask what all the excitement was about, and as we talked for several minutes, I saw the swarm in the tree take flight. I ran back to see what was going on and was lucky enough to see the whole swarm move into my box. It’s great when bees do what you want them to.
 

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We have a number of drones I could have used
Westley:
I mean, if we only had a wheelbarrow, that would be something.
Inigo Montoya:
Where we did we put that wheelbarrow the albino had?
Fezzik:
Over the albino, I think.
Westley:
Well, why didn't you list that among our assets in the first place?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I lure them down with a hive with old comb, some lemograss oil and some QMP. It works most of the time.
Put 5 traps around the yard they swarmed in. Everything but the QMP but did have some swarm lure which supposedly made from spent queens. No luck.

Next time I'll try to use every tool in the chest before they settle 100' up in a redwood.
 

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I lure them down with a hive with old comb, some lemograss oil and some QMP. It works most of the time
As Michael said earlier this has been a good approach in your situation. Alas, they still have a mind of their own so to say and like in fishing sometimes the big ones get away. Sorry It didn’t work out.
 
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