Late night swarm

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by bamabww, May 2, 2013.

  1. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    I work third shift, 11:30 p.m. to 8 a.m and usually lay down about 8 p.m. to sleep a couple of hours before getting up around 10:20 p.m. to go to work. At 10 p.m. my daughter came in and told me there was a swarm of bees in a tree in our front yard. She said she heard a loud buzzing sound come across our porch. She turned the porch light on and saw the bees attaching to a low limb. I got up and saw the bees in a cone shape hanging off a limb about 4 feet off the ground. So far so good. I found a cardboard box, clipped the limb off with a pair of loppers, and eased bees and limb down into the box. I carried the box to my shed and pulled out a box with 3 frames of drawn comb and poured the bees in to the box sitting on a bottom board with a queen excluder between the box and the bottom board. Placed the inner cover and top cover on and hope they'll be all right until I get home around 8:45 a.m.

    The tree is just a few feet from the main entrance into our house and my wife, daughter and me had all used the entrance several times between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and the bees were not there. I'm guessing the bees had swarmed earlier that afternoon and for whatever reason, decided to move after dark again. Or do they swarm after dark sometime? This tree is probably 100 yards from the hive I suspect the swarm came from. Interesting.
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Right on Wayne! Bees are always going to be curious creatures for me. Do you think the swarm came from your hives? I bet you were'n so tire when "bee catching adrenaline" started pumping!
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Bees don't swarm at dark. They usually go in the mid to late afternoon, I would say between 1 and 5. Not an ironclad rule, but pretty common. Right after a bad weather event is common as well. If they were ready to go but weather prevents them, they will go first hint of good weather.
     
  4. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Well, the bees are still there and look to be doing fine. I added some sugar syrup and will let them alone for awhile now. P5023124.JPG
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Looks good Wayne. :thumbsup:
    I see you are running 9 frames, are they all drawn, or just the 3? If they are not all drawn, I'd throw the tenth one in there till they are.
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Bees don't navigate at night. Swarms can be very quiet and unnoticeable once they've clusterd somehwere . On more than one occasion I've been called to collect a swarm from...and get exact instructions as to location. Often I get to the spot and can't find them until the caller points out the swarm to me.
    Remember to move the swarm to the location where you want to keep them, otherwise, they'll home in on the place where you've left them for a few days and they might have trouble learning a new spot in the near vicinity.
     
  7. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Thanks Perry and only the 3 frames are drawn. And I have spacers installed that reduce the ten frames to a nine frame so it is what it is.
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    good catch on the swarm and glad you got them put up!!

    As Perry said about the 9 vs 10 frames, you will find that with frames of foundation spaced too far apart they will build burr and brace comb in between the frames making a mess. a brood box really need all of the frames pushed together since brood comb will be drawn to a certain depth. Honey comb that is already drawn out will be made deeper for honey storage. I would definitely pull the frame spacers out of the brood box. Sorry to say but you have a mess on its way if not.
     
  9. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    The brood box does have 10 frames, the picture shows them in the medium super I had them in until I could get the foundation put in the frames for the deep brood box. I placed the deep under the medium yesterday when I got home from work and was able to install the foundation in the frames. Sorry I didn't make that clear in the original post but the medium was all I had available for immediate use. I have since rectified that situation and hope for another low settling swarm soon.

    When I checked the bees this morning almost all of them have moved into the bottom box now. I'm going to build a regular inner cover to replace the screened one shown in the picture. Those ladies are hungry. I'm guessing that might have been a pound and a half of bees and in less than 24 hours they have already taken 3 quarts of sugar syrup. Hopefully they will be drawing all comb soon.

    Thanks for the advice on the 9 versus 10 frames in the brood box. I may go ahead and replace that super with a 10 frame just in case Mrs. Queen is ready to start to work so soon after moving. The only drawn comb I have is medium size frames. There is a cold front moving through now so I can't borrow a few drawn out frames just yet from another hive.

    Another thing I noticed is there are still maybe a dozen bees flying around the limb on the tree where the swarm settled.
     
  10. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Another quart and a half of sugar syrup in about 10 hours today.