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When the bees start going into a swarm box, can they be transferred into a regular hive immediately, or do you need to leave them in the swarm box for a while to populate?
 

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I leave them long enough so that there is some sealed brood but not long enough to add weight from honey.About 2 weeks after I see pollen foragers.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I am with Jack. Always wait until the bees have been pollen foraging for a week or two. Some swarms contain virgin queens and you want to make sure she has gotten mated and is laying before messing with the trap. If for some.reason the trap is not full of frames, you may want to shorten that to a week since the bees will build comb in all the wrong places .
 

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jumping onto this thread with a "what if I did it too early" followup - A nice swarm moved into my trap a week ago and because it was an extra tall 5-frame nuc box they started building comb under the frames as well as on them.

I hived them fairly quickly, at the same location; didn't look for the queen very hard, and didn't see eggs (the comb was all quite new, obviously) but there have been lots of drones about for days.

Any chance that I messed them up badly? Here's a video of the process if that gives more detail: https://youtu.be/U0FvV_OScHs

Cheers!
 

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pmartens,

When you R&R comb, always replace it in the same orientation as removed. In your video, it appears that you replaced it upside down. (Comb is built with a slight upward angle, and bees like it that way.) :D
 

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Thanks for that - if I hadn't been anxious to get them in and closed up, and if the comb wasn't so soft, I would have taken more time and tried mounting it that way, but alas. Next time!

Will they at least chew it up and re-use the wax?
 

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I have a question that goes along with this topic (sorry I'm a beginner so I don't have anything helpful to add here). I previously (last year) caught bees in a swarm trap. I moved them to a hive soon after, but as you mentioned, they built comb in the wrong place and it got messed up during the move. They moved out of the hive almost immediately after, but I found the swarm in a nearby tree. I was told to put the queen excluder at the bottom of the hive next time so she was forced to stay. I did, put them back in the hive, and left the excluder there for several weeks. When I removed it 3 weeks after rehoming them, they all left again immediately. How long should that queen excluder be left in place after rehoming? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. And thanks for advice in the post above - I ran into the same issue.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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After three weeks, the queen should have been laying and there should have been brood in the comb. Something else is in play here. Maybe you had a virgin queen, or there is something about the box you put them in they did not like.
 
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