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One of my hives swarmed yesterday and landed in a lilac bush in my neighbor's yard. I was able to set up a hive under the bush and shook the swarm into the boxes. All went well and I left them there for the afternoon because there were still lots of bees around the base of the bush and I didn't want to anger my neighbor by mucking with their prized lilac. When I left, the bees at the base of the bush were marching into the hive. All was well-- or so I thought

About two hours later, I walked over to check and saw that all the bees were on the outside of the box. As much as I tried, I could not get them to stay inside. And a knot of bees had returned to the base of the bush. So I thought they probably would take off again. And they did. The swarm rose into the sky and started circling around and around the area. I was helpless -- but remembered reading about someone tanging the bees back into the hive. I had a metal wheelbarrow in my backyard and sitting in it was a metal rake--the kind with flexible tines. I took that rake and started beating and scraping it along the bottom of the wheelbarrow. It made a horrible racket-- and even brought the husband outside to see what the heck was going on.

Well -- even my doubting hubby was impressed. Those bees circled around for a few minutes and flew right back into that hive. All of them! Even the bees that were still on the bush and buried in the grass around its base fled into the hive. Took about 15 minutes of my beating the rake until all the bees were in the hive. I buttoned it up and moved it to a new location. Wow - it was impressive.
 

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I'll have to remember that. Another way that works very well and is probably a lot less effort is a cotton ball with some lemon grass oil extract on it.
 

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I had this work for me last Saturday.. except later that day I found a marked queen on top of a different hive than the one they swarmed from. And then she flew away :pinch:
 

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Very interesting. Thanks for posting.

Great, now I have to keep a wheelbarrow with me at all times!
 

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The only thing I had at a moments notice was an empty nuc and an entrance reducer. I beat on the nuc without the top on it with the reducer and had the same effect.
 

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I have tried it several times, it seemed to worked more times than not. While swarming from a hive it did seem to make them cluster on a branch. Who knows if they would have anyways.

But making them return to the swarm trap does sound like it worked. There's some old threads on the subject, it's a very old practice.
 

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How do get them to fly back into the box of your choice? How close do you have to have the destination box to the bees in the trees and to where you are tanging? I have a metal bucket that has a hole in it - I was just looking at it today and wondering what use I could still make of it. Maybe I can use it.

I am glad to have a contemporary report about this.

Enj.
 

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How do get them to fly back into the box of your choice? How close do you have to have the destination box to the bees in the trees and to where you are tanging? I have a metal bucket that has a hole in it - I was just looking at it today and wondering what use I could still make of it. Maybe I can use it.

I am glad to have a contemporary report about this.

Enj.
I've done this once. I started tanging right when the swarm had come out of the hive in hopes to get them to land quickly and nearby. I don't know if I started it too soon.. but they went back into the hive from which they came. I almost wonder if I didn't interrupt them. Yesterday we had another swarm. This time I just let them land on a tree branch. After retrieving the majority of them in a bucket and boxing them in a nuc below the branch.. I then tanged on the bucket. I have no idea if this rushed them along.. but the remainder of what was on the branch came on down to the ground pretty quickly.

My personal opinion is they feel the vibrations and it mimics thunder.
 

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When I was a young man many of my older relatives spoke of tanging.
I have never tanged and never will. The swarms that issue from my hives always land in a nearby tree. I have come back from town to find swarms in the same nearby trees. Maybe someone come over and tanged for me while I was gone
Now, if I had been tanging all these years, I would be convinced it works.
With a little help from the internet this folklore could grow new legs and run. I hope it does, because I really want to see (and hear) someone doing this. I'm not being facetious, I just think it would be highly entertaining. Time to check YouTube.

Keep Tanging.
Alex
 

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I have no opinion on it myself, as I am always busy gathering things to put the swarm in and they always gather on a nearby limb anyway, but I find this interesting:

"The custom of beating kettles and caldrons has been practiced at all times and I believe everywhere, and I do not understand any better than you do what influence it could have.

"(Translators Note: Aristotle, who lived over 2200 years ago, tells, in his “Story of Animals,'' Lib. IX: “Bees seem to have a liking for noise and from this observation it is claimed that, by making a noise and striking upon earthen jars, one can gather the swarm in the hive. However, whether they hear or not, we do not know whether it is pleasure or fear which induces them to gather together when there is a noise.”)

"The bees which are hived in glass hives do not seem to take any notice of thunder. I have caused the beating of drums about my apiary and, although I used, to make a noise, all the cauldrons, The watering-pots and the bells, that has never succeeded in stopping a flying swarm for me; one succeeds a great deal better in this by throwing at them water or dirt. This prejudice has perhaps been established for the benefit of bee owners, who, knowing through this noise that a swarm is out, soon ascertain whether it has escaped from their apiary and may claim it; I have seen that reason in Oliver De Serres' or in some other agricultural book."--Francis Huber in a letter to Mrs. De Portes published in ABJ, translated by C.P. Dadant
 

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I would never have gotten that far because I close the box up and move the bee's as soon as I've got the queen and the "majority" of the girls, thus eliminating being overruled by returning scout bees.

One of my hives swarmed yesterday and landed in a lilac bush in my neighbor's yard. I was able to set up a hive under the bush and shook the swarm into the boxes. All went well and I left them there for the afternoon because there were still lots of bees around the base of the bush and I didn't want to anger my neighbor by mucking with their prized lilac. When I left, the bees at the base of the bush were marching into the hive. All was well-- or so I thought

About two hours later, I walked over to check and saw that all the bees were on the outside of the box. As much as I tried, I could not get them to stay inside. And a knot of bees had returned to the base of the bush. So I thought they probably would take off again. And they did. The swarm rose into the sky and started circling around and around the area. I was helpless -- but remembered reading about someone tanging the bees back into the hive. I had a metal wheelbarrow in my backyard and sitting in it was a metal rake--the kind with flexible tines. I took that rake and started beating and scraping it along the bottom of the wheelbarrow. It made a horrible racket-- and even brought the husband outside to see what the heck was going on.

Well -- even my doubting hubby was impressed. Those bees circled around for a few minutes and flew right back into that hive. All of them! Even the bees that were still on the bush and buried in the grass around its base fled into the hive. Took about 15 minutes of my beating the rake until all the bees were in the hive. I buttoned it up and moved it to a new location. Wow - it was impressive.
 
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