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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I looked over at the hives as I was going in the house and saw a lot of bees in the air. My thought was that I had a really good graduation going on. I walked over and there were thousands of bees in the air, more than a normal graduation would have been. Movement in the tree above the hives caught my eye and I saw this.
The swarm was much too high for me to get to, and it was getting larger as I watched. I stood there for about 10 minutes and watched as bees came out of the hive and went to the swarm. I went in the house and fixed a sandwich, ate it and went back out, total about 15 minutes and they were gone. All that was left were a few bees flying around where the swarm had been. This came from a hive that had two deeps for brood and also had two medium supers on top.
Jim
 

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I sure hate to hear that you lost a swarm, especially your own.
Should have followed them to see where they went to.
How high up were they?

Sequayah cut out 7-6-10 404.jpg

long pole, five gallon bucket and duct tape will catch a swarm!! (just put your veil on and roll your sleeves down)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The were about 20-25 feet up. I don't have any pole that long, but I did have a bucket with a screened side and top ready, but not a long enough pole to put it on. I was really surprised that they left that quickly. I caught a swarm last year that had been in the same spot for hours. I never expected them to be gone when I came back out.
 

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Did not steal my idea at all. Mine is basically a freeby plus it can be taken apart and used for other things.

hill billy in-ja-nu-ity!!:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If I had managed to catch them in a bucket, and put them in another hive in the same yard, would they have stayed in the new hive or moved again? This seemed to be a "gathering" swarm, and once they had all the bees that to wanted to participate, they headed for greener pastures. The hive I would have put them in would have been within 10 feet of the hive they just left.
 

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Never can tell, I have put them in a hive just to watch them leave for greener pastures but most times they will stay. A good spritzing of sugar water also helps to ground the flight for just a little while. If you can find the queen and cage her for a day things look even better.
 

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Are you sure they left? I've had them fly up into a tree overhead and gather for a few moments and come back to the mother hive. Because the queen wasn't with them. Jack
 

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did you ever consider??? <tecumseh must be having one of those stick moments*.

take the idea of the bucket, add one of those black trash bags and loosely drape it over the top, secure with string or a very large rubber band (I suspect the rubber 0 ring washer in the lid might work here) at the top of the bucket, take a razor knife and make a mediums size slit in the plastic bag where it drapes into the top of the bucket.

bump the swarm into the top of the bucket and as the bees hit the plastic they should fall thru the slit and down to the bottom of the bucket, the bees then climb the walls of the bucket but the plastic bag prevents them from leaving.

*well actually I saw this idea in a very old bee magazines.
 

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You can use a couple of drops of lemon grass oil on the top of a frame to help anchor them. A frame of brood will also help them stay where they are put. Drawn frames also help.
 

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Jim, That's rough! I feel for you.
Losing a swarm from your own hive and then not catching it is a lot worse than not catching "someone elses'" swarm. There's no guarantee of success, but it never hurts to have a few bait hives set up and waiting during the swarming season. I apologize if it sounds like i'm rubbing salt in your wound, that's not my intention. Just be prepared for the rest of the season---it's not too late.
 

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I was just going to ask the same thing efmesch. If Jim has any bait hives set up in the area, he might want to check them. It seems like they had another place in mind quite quickly and it probably isn't too far. It didn't sound like the scouts took too long to find it.

Sorry Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the condolences :) To answer some of the questions - I do have a bait hive set up as far apart as I can get it from the apiary. I'm on two acres with the hives on the back side of the house on the property line and the bait hive in a tree on the front property line. I haven't gotten into the hive to see what was left yet. It will probably be the weekend before I can do that. The activity in the front looks more like my other two hives now. I thought about a way to put my catch bucket on a pole last night. When I get a chance, I'll work on that.
 

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How would you shake the bees into the bucket? a brisk upward push on the bucket pole?

Pretty cool idea. Easy device to have prepared. Thanks.
 

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I like to put a queen excluder between the bottom board and the hive body to help anchor a swarm. Sometimes they skinney'd the queen down enough for her to get through, but works most times. Leave it on 3 or 4 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you Rast, I will remember that the next time. :smile:

Well this was cool. I was sitting out by the hives after work enjoying a beverage. All of a sudden I notice more buzzing than normal. I looked at all three hives and everything looked normal. It got louder and I looked up and sure enough there was a swarm moving in. The sky was full of bees and they kept getting closer. My wife and I watched them for 30 minutes and they finally settled in the same cedar that the original swarm left from, but much lower. It was a much smaller swarm than I thought from the amount of bees in the air. It was about a softball and 1/2. I wondered if it was a secondary swarm from the hive that swarmed earlier. This swarm was at eye level and I caught it in a bucket and put it in an 8 frame deep. So far so good. I sprayed the frames with sugar water and I saw fanning after I dumped them in the hive, so I assume I got the queen. They have 1:1 syrup available if they want it. Here they are in their (hopefully) new home:
 
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