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When I've caught swarms I've had the most success when I put a frame of brood of brood with them. I have always moved them right away. These have always been swarms I've been called to pick up.
 

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I move them at dark the first I notice them. I figure I don't lose a virgin that way. I want to move them before they make comb if at all possible.. I have been lucky enough to watch the bees come in a few time and moved them same day. I have been fooled twice and moved traps that did not contain bees. I missed one once and it was a hive when I picked it up next spring.


I try and have a replacement trap to replace when moving just incase I got them too early and they have not moved in though most times you can tell. I have never waited for pollen though I have no doubt of that plan. I really just like getting them where they are going to stay before they make too much comb. My traps are deeps but I run medium hives and it is just easier to let them build where they are going to live.

I do usually put to drops of lemon grass oil in the hive I am hiving them in. Knock on wood, all have stayed. I had been given advice one time that bees orient really well to the new location if moved early cause they think they picked that place during swarming. I have no ideal about this but as said before, luckily all have stayed in completely empty hives with empty frames when I have put them there.
I only catch a few in traps every year and so take the above based on that fact and give it the credence you feel it deserves. I do not claim expertise.
Cheers
gww
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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The bees I have at work have been in their swarm trap since late May.:rolleyes: Bringing them home next weekend to put into a hive. Trap is going back in place as soon as it its emptied. OK, this is clearly not normal. I typically do like aran and move them home as soon as I see pollen coming in.
 

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My traps are 6 framers, extra deep. 1 frame of old comb, 1 frame that needs comb repair, 2 foundationless frames. I leave them until pollen is coming in (usually within 2 days with combs inside) and I may leave them in the box a couple more days to let them build new comb on the frames w/o foundation. I want to be sure the queen is bred and the bees are anchored.
 

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I find them - I move them the closest possible night.
(if this is my back porch - they move in and I move them this very evening, few hours later).
Did not have a single case of the bees absconding yet.
Of course my traps are to die for - who in their right mind will ever leave? They don't.
 

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Like others here, I get a call to pick up a swarm, I get them in the box and leave the box there for the rest of the day. Even swarm bees don't fly at night, so I go back after sunset, secure the entrance and take it to my apiary. If you leave swarm traps out and a colony takes up residence and you don't get back to it for awhile, now moving it can become an issue if you want to place it in a permanent spot nearby. Over 6 (?) miles away, they usually re-orient themselves.
 

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If a swarm is caught how long should it be allowed to stay there before being transferred?
Me, the moment I feel I have the queen and "enough" of the straggler bees of a swarm dropped in my deep body, I transfer it to the apiary. In the past, if a daytime capture, I'd leave the hive in place at the site of the capture, then go back in the cool evening to transfer to the apiary. Now, transfer once they are captured. Then, once placed in the apiary, I open the hive back up in the cool of the evening.
Single deep is used by me to capture them into, and it has 5-7 built comb frames in it to "stick" then to that hive. Of +-80 captures, only 1 has left. Gone the day after capture. Small and late season swarm. Suspect it had a virgin queen that when she went to get mated, they all left with her.
 

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Once you capture a swarm and then relocate the colony, do they need to reorient to their new location? If so, would you keep them confined for a day or two so they do reorient?
 

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kevinf
I usually move at dark and sit on top of the hive I am going to hive them in.
I might or might not put a branch or a little green grass blocking the entrance a little but probably not most times. If you are moving more then a mile or so, little problems will be had if any at all. If really close, some of the bees will hang around where the trap was for a while but usually get it figured out. The next day or two I will put them inside the hive they are sitting on.
A comment was made earlier about leaving them in the trap and letting them get established. If this happens, you might have more of an issue moving them close. I have moved swarms caught the same day about a hundred yards and not had much trouble at all.
Hope some of this helps.
Cheers
gww
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Reading these posts, it appears that two different languages are being spoken, but everyone seems to smile and nod. Differentiation should be made between a trapped swarm, I.e., in a swarm trap, and a captured swarm, shaken off a tree limb or whatever. The time for a trapped swarm is not critical IMO, assuming that you put frames in your trap. After all, who in their right mind is checking their trapline every day? Once per week is a lot in my opinion. Waiting until pollen is coming in is a pretty good way of assuring the queen, if an afterswarm, has gotten mated and is now laying. A captured swarm on the other hand should be moved the same day, preferably in the evening. The bees have not yet oriented to anything and there is little chance they will return to the site of the cluster if you managed to get the queen. This is true even if you capture the swarm in your own apiary. Scoop them up, put them in a hive with a frame of open brood, and put the hive in it's permanent location. Done. For added assurance, you can stick a QE under the hive (between the hive body and the bottom board) for two or three days to make sure the queen, and the rest of the bees, do not take to the trees again.
 

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jw
I do both types of swarms the same way. I don't check every day but do have many trap in places that are easy to see and have people call me if they see a bee around an entrance cause if somebody is not looking for a home there is usually no bees at the entrance. I have some in the out back that don't get looked at too often though if I catch something I tend to get excited on the others and find a reason to be in the area to look. My point is that even with frames in the traps, I like to move the bees fast. I do have medium frames in a deep trap and why hassle with any cutting when I can just put them where they go and be done. So. I move them the night I see them. You are correct, You could leave them to winter in a deep trap and they would be fine but why when you can put them where they go and be done.

Now that being said. I am retired and have no schedule of any kind and so move on whim and realize that others have to find a way that works for them.

A word of advice to all though. You should pick on your relatives who don't mind the eyesore of a trap hanging on a tree in a place they frequent often and can call when they see something. It will spread your traps wider rather then on top of each other and save all kinds of work checking traps. Bait once and forget if you don't get a call.

I am not right at the expense of anyone being wrong but just pointing out what works pretty good for me. I will waste gas on bees just being at the entrance cause I find watching scouts as interesting as anything on tv and it is so neat to see a swarm come in in real time and still cheap entertainment if you can take sitting in the heat.
Cheers
gww

Ps My hives are in a field behind my house. I keep a trap right in my back yard. If I see one bee on that trap, I walk down to the hives and look in the trees around them. I have one cedar that my hives like to land in if I lose control and I have been saved at least twice from losing my own swarms by that trap and not because the bees picked that trap but because they looked while still around.
 

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I agree on the swarm traps at relatives property. I have 3 traps at my B in-law and they enjoy watching. The swamp bees there are small, feisty, and propolize everything but they make good honey and grow lots of bees. It's 25 miles from my home so I can move them whenever. Limb hanging / fence post swarms go directly to a nuc with a frame of brood.
 
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