any value to capturing a swarm in Early August

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Michbeeman63, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Michbeeman63

    Michbeeman63 New Member

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    I know there is a saying "a swarm in May is worth a pound of gold, and a swarm in August isn't worth a bale of hay", or something like that.

    Is there any value to capturing a swarm in SouthEast Michigan in August? Can the swarm be used to capture and kill the queen so the bees could be added to one of my weaker hives? Does adding bees from a swarm create a condition where the weak hive will have too many bees going into winter, and it would starve out?

    what are the options?

    appreciate any help.

    Mike :roll:
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Any swarm, anytime, has got value in my books. If nothing else, a bee boost. :thumbsup:
     

  3. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Box the swarm and add the weak hive to the swarm once the queen is laying she is probably a better queen than the one in a weak hive.
     
  4. Michbeeman63

    Michbeeman63 New Member

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    what is the process for the bee boost? capture in a super, and wack the queen. add to hive with a newspaper between to let the bees acclimate?

    There is risk in switching a queen in a hive this late in the year, correct?
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    No more so than any other time of year IMHO. Just do a newspaper combine like you mentioned. The queenless bees (made so by yourself) will accept their new matriarch by the time they combine.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    As Apis said, I would combine the weak hive with the swarm after the swarm queen has been evaluated, if the swarm queen was better.
     
  7. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Using a swarm

    I just got a swarm. I'm going to give it some frames of foundation to draw into (I hope) nice comb. There is flow on at the moment so I might not need to give much feed. When the building urge slows I will decide what to do with it....

    "All the best laid plans-------" .:grin:
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    to reinforce a growing sentiment.... definitely what Apis and Iddee said.
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I do agree with apis and iddee and tec.

    A swarm in May is worth a load of hay,
    A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon,
    A swarm in July isn't worth a fly.
     
  10. RE Jones

    RE Jones New Member

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    I'll take a swarm anytime. Of course I do live in Florida and that will make a big difference.

    I just had a small swarm, size of two baseballs, land in my bee yard and I housed them in a nuc with small frames. Checked on them Thursday and they have already built comb on one of these frames and half of the other. I do not think the queen has been on her mating flight as of yet, saw her and she was still small. We will see what happens with them.
    Robert
     
  11. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Swarms in July and August are about all we get around here - as our spring and summer usually arrives so late.


    That said, two seasons ago - I was checking swarm traps with the monk who keeps the bees at the local Abbey. It was mid-August. He had a big swarm in one of his traps. He cut it out, installed it in a hive and fed it. They drew a ton of wax for him, put up stores and survived the winter. Perhaps he was just lucky, I don't know - but I remember thinking that the swarm wasn't worth anything when we collected it.

    A small swarm - I would do as Apis, Iddee and tec suggest. But a large one, I might take a chance with.
     
  12. tmrschessie

    tmrschessie New Member

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    Just getting back into bee keeping. I want to get my area filled with natural honey bee colonies as possible. I will use then to strengthen the existing colonies. Staying hopeful any how. Tom
     
  13. jcshoneybees

    jcshoneybees New Member

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    Living in a warmer climate I would give them a shot. The swarm was free? So it wouldnt be much of a loss if they did not make it. I would do my best to get them built up and just before it gets cold I would look to see how they were, if they are weak I would then combine them.