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I am considering getting into trapping and swarm chasing (not cutouts) but wonder what to do with all the bees if I am successful. I only want 3-4 hives for myself. I recently learned there is no-one in my County registered or advertising for removals, so there may be a need. But I do not want the bees for myself and do not want to be suddenly stuck with a bunch of bees. Is there a market for the bees once they are retrieved? What can I expect for costs (nuc, hive, etc.) As a hobbyist I do not really want to be paid for my time, but do not want to give away woodenware, etc. I have seen references to people who have lists of folks who want bees, is this common? I also understand there are certain people who especially want 'local bees'.

I live about 25 miles from Austin, TX, which has a large active group of urban beekeepers.
 

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There's 9 beekeepers registered with TAIS (Texas Apiary Inspection Service) to do removals in Bastrop County. Don't count your swarms until they are captured and over wintered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Chuck

So if I am going to do this I need to plan on keeping the bees for 5-8 months? I was hoping I could just capture them and turn them over to someone else withing a short period of time.

Do I have to be registered with the TAIS?
 

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If I were a prospective buyer of bees that you caught, I would want to know that they have a queen first of all, and that she is a mated and laying queen. So, really you should just set them up in nucs and sell them, they will be easy to get rid of that way.
 

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Touchy subject here, good that you are thinking ahead. Bees are easy to sell in the spring through May, but not so much after. I feel like you shouldn't be doing removals unless you have a home lined up for the bees. I know of a couple of removal guys that just vacuum all the bees, pitch every bit of the comb, sell or give away the bees if they can, and dump them if they can't. Makes my blood boil.

Don
 

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bring them to me because i have 0 bees at the moment :p

but really.. if you want a few.. then catch a few and stop putting traps up. when you go fish and you've had enough then you pull your pole up right? haha
 

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Chuck

So if I am going to do this I need to plan on keeping the bees for 5-8 months? I was hoping I could just capture them and turn them over to someone else withing a short period of time.

Do I have to be registered with the TAIS?
Unlike life, swarms are like a box of chocolates in that you never know what you'll get. As you likely don't have any drawn comb or spare brood comb, chances that they may abscond (leave). If a feeder leaks or they get overheated, they may all die. They may be queenless, have a virgin unmated queen or an old queen that doesn't lay well. I'd think you'd need to get 3 or 4 frames drawn out and a good demonstrated brood pattern before they'd be saleable. Even then, you've don't know the genetics - I've seen firsthand where a docile swarm grows into a booming double deep with AHB defensive characteristics (it wants to kill you).

I find catching swarms enjoyable and it's often a service for concerned citizens but I'd say in the end, my time and $ would have been better spent on some early nucs.

By the time you've turned these into viable nucs, you will be well past the typical April and May timeframe for sales. If you want 3 or 4 hives, you need to anticipate winter losses. Might as well have your numbers up, and if everything goes well, split next year.

New beekeepers seem to be willing to pay premium dollar for a box of questionable bees. I’ve seen them buy junk: queenless, poorly done frames of cut out comb, hives weak with bees, overrun with SHB and mites, intolerably hot, even an advertisement for a "swarm in the neighbor’s tree for $75"... You might have a market for a “swarm in a box” but I expect many will be unhappy that it did not become a viable hive - then show up at meetings with 90+ people and talk about it.

As to being registered with TAIS being required? Remove a swarm off a tree: Probably not. Removing a swarm off an occupied house? Maybe. Peel back some loose siding to get to the swarm entering a cavity? Probably so. Swarm call turns into a cut out? Yes.
 

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Marant - LOL - Man I wish I was closer to you. I would give you my phone number and have you on my speed dial. Would be willing to swap new frames cardboard boxes for new frame cardboard boxes with a swarm plus give a handing fee for your work.

Even if there is no queen, a newspaper combine would jump start a slow hive. A frame of capped brood, a frame of eggs, frame of honey, all stolen from my hive plus the swarm = new swarm that didn't impact my nurse bee or foragers numbers. A hot hive, well the eggs are from not hot hives and the new queen should be good one. If they have a mean queen, well my bottle of alcohol needs a few queens to be placed in it for lure, I just don't have spares. Then again, a frame of capped brood and a frame of eggs and I should have something going.

Marant - you should look for local bee groups and get with them. They might have a person with the same attitude as me.

Good Luck = Sadly you are just to far to make the drive worthwhile.
 

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We have a local commercial guy who pays $20 per swarm in swarm season. Shake the fresh swarm into his box, take you're equipment back home. This is the lowest price I've ever seen.
A more common price is this area is $100 in a cardboard nuc box with frames.
 

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Touchy subject here, good that you are thinking ahead. Bees are easy to sell in the spring through May, but not so much after. I feel like you shouldn't be doing removals unless you have a home lined up for the bees. I know of a couple of removal guys that just vacuum all the bees, pitch every bit of the comb, sell or give away the bees if they can, and dump them if they can't. Makes my blood boil.

Don
These guys are cannot be beeks! They are pest removal dudes out to make a buck.

I have to believe that there are many folks in the Austin area that suffer from BEELUST, and would be happy to come to you to receive a colony of bees (with queen).

Phil
 
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