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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story.............short. A small swarm from one of the neighbor's hives came to rest in our Dogwood Friday afternoon. Put it in a box with some drawn comb from some left over frames that recently had honey extracted. (We use almost all medium equipment) Sunday afternoon I see a swarm across the street that ends up in the neighbor's walnut tree. Checked the "swarm" hive and it was gone. Later on that evening the swarm returns to the Dogwood. Once again I capture and place in the same box. They stay put for about an hour or so and then, back into the dogwood. Change tactics. I remove some of the extracted honey frames and replace with foundation and pull out a frame with eggs, larvae and brood from another hive, and put them into a larger "swarm" trap box with lots of "beespace." Capture bees, place in box and shortly thereafter, the bees leave. So, I'm done trying to catch these bees. Monday afternoon I come home and notice an active swarm in another part of the yard that ends up flying up into one of our cherry trees. By the size of it I know it's the same swarm. So, I put a regular "deep" nuc box with just drawn comb up on a ladder underneath the swarm after spraying a little swarm commander at the entrance.
Wake up this morning and the bees are covering the box, flying in and out of the box and hovering around the box. An hour later they were back in the cherry tree. Saw them swarming over by the Dogwood again this afternoon. Didn't even bother to see where they landed. I'm sure they're not too far away. I think I've only had one "swarm" leave again after capture. And that was more of a re-swarm where the original swarm stayed for several days and the queen started laying and enough bees stayed behind to eventually make it a viable hive. And I've dealt with a lot of swarms. I was wondering if anybody had any ideas on why this one acted the way it has.

Thanks
 

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Hi Doug - I've absolutely no idea why they're been behaving like that - but if you fancy giving it one more go - you could try housing them as you've done before, with a frame of open brood etc - but once they're in, close that box up for 3 days, ensuring that they've got enough ventilation and access to water.

After that time they should have exhausted most, if not all of the honey they're carrying, and so will be forced to stay where they've been put. Only then give them the smallest amount of sugar syrup, until such time as they have started to produce brood of their own.

Of course you may have had quite enough of their antics to want to be bothered any further with them ... :)
LJ
 

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Long story.............short......

Thanks
Catch them.
Put them into a cold, dark cellar (or the closest to it you can provide).
Nothing but water they should have.
Keep them 3 nights like so.
Take outside and let fend for themselves.

You'd be surprised how agreeable swarms become after this chill-down period.
Old but well tested method; hardly anyone does it now days.
Patience is in short-supply and not trendy.
 

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How do you know they are from the neighbors? Are you going to let them know ?
Maybe thry put some Commander on their tree to keep them close 🤣
 

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Catch the queen and put her in a queen cage and hang it inside the hive. They aren't going anywhere without her. Release her in a couple of days.
 

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Be happy they gave you a demonstration of how swarmy they are. Just the kind of bees you don't want. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the advice. It appears the problem has taken care of itself. I haven't taken a really good look around the yard for them but, it looks like they've moved on. Usually see them leaving one tree and flying a short distance to another tree this time of day.
 

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Since I don't know what I'm doing, I have a queen excluder that fits the entrance of the hive I built. When I caught my first swarm this spring I kept the queen locked in for three days while the workers foraged. So far so good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They're back. But, now they are just a fraction of their former selves. Either death or drifting has reduced their numbers quite a bit. Too high and too few bees to try to catch at this point. Flying around for nearly a week now. strange indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, in the end, the 'swarm' was down to the size of about a pine cone. Less than a cup of bees for sure. I wish I had thought to get a picture of them. After hanging out through yet another thunderstorm they decided to fly into an empty box. And stay. So far. Day two. It'll be interesting to see how they do.
 
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