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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I caught a swarm and placed them in a cardboard nuc and transported them to my garden. They've been there since last Friday and I'm guessing if they were going to abscond they would have done so already. So far everything looks good. This morning when I went to take off the tarp I put over the box to shield it from the rain so it wouldn't fall apart. There was not one bee in the air. It was pretty cold this morning though, around 50 or so. I was worried that they left so I popped open the lid real quick to take a peek and there they were, all clustered in the corner. One looked at me tilting its head as if to say "Close the lid stupid!". I closed the lid and left them alone for the rest of the day. The box seems to be real clean and they seem to be drawing comb on the frames on the guides. Tried feeding them sugar syrup but they would have none of it. I'm guessing there's enough forage around to satisfy them.

So what now? Just leave them alone till they build out the frames and then transfer them to the hive?
 

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Not taking up syrup likely has more to do with the approximate location of the syrup to the cluster than anything else.

At 50 unless the bees were sick (an abnormal behavior sometimes associated with nosema) you would not expect the bees to fly.

Good luck.
 

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Warming from 30 to 50, it's warm enough to work.
Dropping from 70 to 50, it's too cold to work.
Nature is always variable.
 

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As Iddee suggest above the bees begin to cluster at or about 55 degrees. You can of course encourage individual bees in the cluster to fly at lower temperature, but you really would not want to do so.

When temperatures are rising you start seeing some activity at or about 50 degrees.

In the late winter and early spring I operate quite a bit based on what the thermometer at my front door tells me.
 

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Or if it is early spring, the bees have cabin fever, and the sun is out. I had bees flying and bringing in pollen at about 45 degrees earlier this spring. Probably warmer inside the hive, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm, I'm beginning to think that there's something wrong. What are the signs that a swarm has lost its queen? They're not building comb and they're quiet. When I captured them I saw all the signs that I had the queen. They were fanning at the entrance.
 

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Tomorrow will be one week. Pull out and look for eggs. If you find them, all is well. Close up and leave for one more week. If no eggs are found, then you may have a problem.

Look very carefully. They are small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just as an update on this one. This swarm absconded. They started to build comb but then they decided to leave. Don't know why. It happens. On a happier note I did a cut out last Friday with a more experienced Beek and the colony is doing great. Then the next day I caught another swarm, this would be my second. This swarm is thriving. Lots of traffic at the entrance and it looks like they're going strong. So I now have two colonies.
 

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Glad to hear you got some bees up and going!! That is great.

Swarms are just the best when you catch one.

G3
 
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