Some advice from a local beekeeper on how to keep a swarm from "reswarming"

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by bamabww, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "Reswarming", is that a word? But anyway,

    I have a friend who has placed two swarms, at different times, in brood boxes , set up with foundation etc only to have the bees leave in the next couple of days. I asked a local beekeeper who's been working with bees for almost 50 years what he did to keep a swarm from "swarming" again. He said as soon as he got the bees in a brood box at home, he'd slide a queen excluder between the bottom board and the bottom brood box and leave it for a few weeks. He said he'd never lost a swarm he had captured in almost 50 years of keeping bees when he used a queen excluder in that manner.

    I thought that was simple enough and something I hadn't thought about myself. I shared that info with my friend and he was glad to get some new idea on what to do.

    He has 20 active hives now and has offered to let me work with him to show me how he catches swarms. Now if my work schedule will allow me to be there when the bees do their thing, this should be very helpful and interesting.
     
  2. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Another technique is to add a frame of brood from one of your other hives. They are considerably less likely to leave if there is brood present.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #3.... When a swarm clusters, they send out scouts. When you put them in a box, it is best to move them far enough that the returning scouts can't find them and tell them where a "better" home has been located.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    foundation is more difficult than comb. feeding of any and all swarms is mandatory. locking the hive in for three or four days is another approach.

    as far as my own experience.... this seems to one issue that is more difficult now than it use to be in 'the good old days'.
     
  5. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for posting that, Wayne. I hadn't thought of using a queen excluder that way. I will be setting out some swarm traps in a week or 2, and was worried that the swarm would leave their new home. I will definately try that method.
     
  6. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Now my feelings is hurt, I been preaching that for years. It works.:cry::grin:
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rast I myself have never tried the queen excluder between the bottom board and the brood box so I for one am glad you reported here that you have had success (tested over some significant time frame) with that method. at some level I guess you can understand bees in theory??? but for me being a beekeeper is much more about practice and what works.
     
  8. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wish I had read this post before capturing a swarm a couple of days ago. The bees left after a day in their new home even with plenty of syrup to feed on. Ants were becoming a problem and this too could be the reason why they did not stay. I left the smallest opening on the entrance with a little grass stuffed in to give them time to work their way out. This afternoon when I learned they were gone I could not locate them anywhere nearby, but then I have some woods surrounding the back of my property and there is no telling where they ended up.

    One of my other hives looked overly active late in the day and I was wondering if it is possible that a swarm without a queen might combine itself with an already established hive. Has anyone here ever known of this to happen? I think the activity I was seeing was actually just the foragers coming in late in the day, but it made me stop and wonder and come up with a question I had no answer for. I have kept bees now for only one year and swarms are something I am still trying to learn about.:confused:
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a snip..
    Has anyone here ever known of this to happen?

    tecumseh:
    africanized honeybees have been known to usurp an existing hive. I would guess that most times these are weak and somewhat defenseless hives... they essentially kill the existing queen prior to the new africanized queen moving in. in a fairly recent time frame there has been some articles in the ABJ documenting how this is accomplished.

    some 'ways' of feeding does drawn ants and these will not only make the bees nervous but if severe enough will cause the honeybees to abscond from their nest.
     
  10. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Tecumseh. I have a feeling the ants are what caused my loss. They were all in the feeder and crawling around inside. Of course I know there is no way for people to know if a swarm is africanized unless it is merely through temperament. The bees I caught were very gentle, but then I have read that in a swarming state bees are usually like this unless agrivated. The first try at catching them caused much of them to dump on the ground where they eventually climbed back up the chain link fence. Even through all of that they remained fairly docile. Have any of the swarms you have caught in the past proven to be agressive? What would you do if you got them installed and they turned out to be meanies.:chased:
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012