Swarm Captured!!!!!

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by Slowmodem, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    had a swarm at work today. Experienced beekeeper here did the actual capture but I got to watch and learn and ended up with a box full of bees!

    1st swarm.jpg

    more pictures (and maybe video) later. :D
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Rock on! Great deal for you...
     

  3. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Yeah, I just hope they will live until I can get them home. I'd hate to open up a box and find dead bees. :::crossing fingers:::
     
  4. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    nice easy find, gratz SM :thumbsup:
     
  5. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    It's hard to put air holes on a box because they can wiggle there bodies through pretty small holes...they should be okay...I have kept bees like that while at work in the shade even on hot days...
     
  6. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Great job!!

    Bees in a card board box, easy to do. just need some old window screen and duct tape to make a big ventilation window.
     
  7. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I plan on putting an inner cover over a deep and then putting an entrance feeder on top of the inner cover with a telescoping top on top. Should I make the syrup 1:1 or 2:1? I may put a frame or two of honey from the other hive in there, but I may be a day or two before I can do that. I'll probably be using bare frames in the hive to start.

    Note: The beekeeper that I got the swarm with said he thought it was a small swarm and he didn't know if they'd make it or not. I figure that if I feed them liberally, they will have a better chance.
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I never cease to be amazed at the swarms appearing so late in the season. If your winter is anything comparable to youf summer, if you feed them well, you probably should have not trouble making it through the winter.
    When you transfer them to the hive, try to spot the queen. I would think that (considering it's a small swarm) it might be an afterswarm and your queen could very well be a virgin. If so, be prepared for it to take a while before she starts laying.
     
  9. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    Per the old BEEK saying, if a swarm in July "isn't worth a fly", what would a swarm in August be worth???

    Perhaps you could use them to requeen and build numbers in a weaker hive you might have?

    I have a cut-out colony that could use a boost prior to the fall flow... ...I would've loved to find these then combine them once I got a chance to see which queen I liked better.
     
  10. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Update

    As stated earlier, there was an experienced beekeeper/coworker there, and he was able to scrounge enough protective gear to feel comfortable capturing the swarm. We got a box with a lid and a roll of duct tape (there's nothing that duct tape won't do!). This is not the textbook capture, but time was short (they needed the equipment) (You might be able to hear the supervisor behind me telling me to back up. I was looking at the camera and didn't see the hundreds of bees that was coming towards me):

    [video=youtube;qnFiCzHUjuQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnFiCzHUjuQ[/video]



    Well, when I got off from work, I got them home ok. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do. It seemed to me that I should treat it as a package. So I cut a "window" in the box and sprayed them with sugar water, closed the window and let them sit for 15 minutes:

    [​IMG]

    While they were resting, I sprayed the frames with sugar water to hopefully make them more inviting. I have an 8-frame deep with 3 frames out initially. So I opened the window and shook the bees into the frames:

    [​IMG]

    I put the remaining frames in, put on the inner cover, put an entrance feeder on top of the inner cover and put the telescoping top on the top:

    [​IMG]

    I gave them about an hour and checked them. There were only four or five bees at the entrance. I put in the entrance reducer and put a block of wood over the hole. I was advised that it would be best to put the hive in the shade for a day or two while they got settled, so I did. I blocked the entrance (the hive has a screened bottom board) so they wouldn't be oriented to this location. In a day or two I'll move it to where I want it and unblock the entrance, so they can orient on the hive then.

    General observations: It was my understanding from what I've read and heard that swarms are docile. Also, I thought sugar water calmed them down. It may be true. However, in this instance, neither were true. It was as though I had took a big stick to a hornet's nest. These bees were MAD and were really coming after us the whole time (except for right at the end). Luckily I didn't get stung, but my dad got one sting through a glove.

    It is true, however, that if you put the container with the bees that don't shake out next to the entrance, that they will all march right into the hive. I thought that was amazing.

    Overall, I think it went ok for someone that never had done it before. They may abscond the day I open the hive. But they may stay. We'll see. But I think it was a good day and I've learned a lot. I am starting two weeks off, so I can give all the bees plenty of attention and TLC.

    I hope you enjoy the pictures. :)
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Free bees are excellent teachers.
    Congratulations
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    If you saw the remaining bees march into the hive, that means the queen is there. That being the case, (no 100% guarantees with bees about anything), It's most likely that they'll stay put where you placed them.
    Did you get to see the queen and detect if she was mated or virgin?
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Well done Greg. :thumbsup: Sometimes swarms can be a little testy, depends on how long they have been there. A "fresh" swarm is full of reserves and has just begun it's search for a new home. One that has been stuck in place for a couple of days (weather, or failure to locate a home), all the while depleting it's resources, may not be so happy.
     
  14. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I didn't. However, my dad shook the box some, too and he said there were several bees in one spot, and he thought they might be with the queen, so he brushed them out of the box into the hive. But we didn't for sure see the queen.
     
  15. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    If nothing else you'll have some new drawn frames to use for swarm captures in the spring.
     
  16. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Yes, that should be true. And drawn frames are just about as good as money in the bank!
     
  17. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    I don't know if you have any frames of brood from another hive. But I recall that adding a frame is added insurance the bees will not leave.
     
  18. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I was thinking about that, too. If I can get into the other hive Monday or Tuesday, I might be able to get a frame or two of honey, and maybe a frame or two of brood. It just depends on how that other hive looks.
     
  19. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I just wanted to put a period at the end of the sentence. It rained all day yesterday, so it was cool and I imagine that the swarm was comfortable getting adjusted to their new house. So this morning, we carried the hive out to it's place in the yard. I opened the entrance, and they came right out, started orienting and flying off. I looked in the top and the entrance feeder did not tip over and there were lots of bees on the top of the inner cover, so that was good. I think they'll be ok. I plan on feeding and feeding and feeding to hopefully get them ready for winter.

    It was about this time last year I got started with a split, so I guess I'm becoming an August beekeeper. Here are pictures of the swarm's new home in the yard:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Great adventure Greg.
    I'm not surprised that they were a little miffed when you first got them, with the time frame constraints placed on you and your buddy to get the equipment back in operation, the bees were rather rudely shoved into the box. As Perry pointed out, a swarm is usually very docile,unless it is a "dry" swarm. A dry swarm is one that has been out several days without finding a new home, the honey she gorged on before leaving the old hive is about gone, and she is getting a little testy. There are several good videos on youtube, check out JP the bee man. He's one of our forum members and has some great videos there.