Tricky swarm

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by crazy8days, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    BoilerJim set me up with another swarm today. Thanks Jim! This one is a bit tricky. Its in a persons newly planted evergreen. 6' tall. The ones they sell as x-mas trees that are super stiff. Swarm is at the top. They guy doesn't want the tree top cut. Can't really stand a ladder next to the tree cause the root ball is above ground. This swarm has been in the tree since last Wednesday. Has not made any comb. Seems very odd they have been there that long! I sprayed heavily with sugar water the tried my best to shake the bees in a box. Not much went in. The tree is way too stiff. So, as close as I could I set up a nuc with frames and feeder on top of a ladder level with the bees hopefully to attract them in. Any suggestions on getting them?
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    It reminded me of when I took a swarm from the side of a tree trunk at six feet a month ago. I wish I would have had a stand or something to hold my nuc while I scooped them in. I held the box from the bottom and positioned it right under the swarm and then I used the top of a cardboard pizza box and slowly slid it from beneath the swarm and the tree bark starting at the bottom. I discovered only the top 5th or so was actually holding on. I thought they would all be stuck to the bark like someone threw a soft pancake against the tree, ha!

    Anyway, when I felt some resistance at the top, I stopped sliding and then gave my box holding arm a pep talk, then promptly pulled the cardboard overparticular from the tree. Most of the swarm fell in the box. I gently lowered the nuc to a stool and left the lid off for a while. The rest of the bees eventually followed.
     

  3. Medic1259

    Medic1259 New Member

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    Bee Vac is what I would do ... if I had one..lol
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    If you could reach them just take several handfuls and shake int he box. Spray the inside of the box with a little syrup to get their attention, they are starting to get hungry by now and might also be a little on the pissy side.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    A few drops of lemongrass oil in the entrance to the nuc might help.

    Wish I lived close to BoilerJim too! :thumbsup:
     
  6. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I called the homeowner today. He said they are still in the tree top but are collecting and some are going in the nuc. Will stop over tomorrow with lemongrass oil if they haven't moved in. So strange they have lasted this long in the tree. We had a couple rain days, 90 degrees then mid 60's. Nuc has top feeder so crossing fingers! They GOT to bee hungry!!
     
  7. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I collected swarm from a pine on mother's day and there is a fist full of them still hanging on to the branch where the swarm was. It's been weeks.
     
  8. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Took the day off work. Working 7 days a week, getting up at 4am and not getting home till 7pm for the past 2 months is wearing me out! So, after sleeping in and chilling for a bit I'm going out to the garage and build another hive. As for a bee vac I like Perry's setup. Think I will build that as well. (If I have time and don't want to nap! lol) Light rain today so hoping the swarm will make their home in the nuc. If not will drop some lemongrass oil on the door step.
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    G3 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, that video is worth ten thousand!
    I built this very style (Robo) bee vac going by a few pictures that I found on the net. To actually see it piece by piece and explained like that would have saved me a lot of time and a couple of mistakes.

    Thanks! :grin:
     
  11. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Everything is built and painted. Bee vac ready to go. Dang swarm is going in and out of the nuc feeding on sugar water I set up then back to the tree. No comb. Been almost 2 weeks these people have had them. Using the vac tomorrow. Eviction time!!!
     
  12. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Awesome! How long did it take to make the robo vac?
     
  13. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    About an hour. One question I have is once vac up and at site of their new home can I remove bottom and top of the vac and place a reg. bottom board, inner and outer lid? Or do I need to do something different?
     
  14. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I usually just leave the bottom of the vac on them for a day or two and put a top on them. Most times vacuumed bees are a little pissy. This gives them a few days to settle down. Just be sure to go slow when sucking up a swarm and not to clog the hose. I have found that you will need to take a little break to give them time to move up onto the frames, they will clog at the bottom board of the vac.. Open the sliding top and they will move up towards the light. I can't stress enough that you only need just enough suction to get them into the hose, if it sounds like you are sucking up marbles there will be many many dead bees.
     
  15. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    You have inspired me to make one today. I need a a little more lumber but should have everything else..
     
  16. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I used things I had in the garage. I used a deep that was goofed up. Just ran it through the table saw. Had window screen so used that.Had some 1/2X3/4 rips in the trash bin. Pulled them out and notched them and nailed to the top so plywood top can slide out. I did have to buy a section of hose. I have a 3 gal. shopvac with 1 1/4 hose. So, we'll see how that works.
     
  17. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Just getting back. Used my new bee vac and at first it was doing really well. Then, it quit sucking bees. Even when I closed the air regulator. Thought maybe it was my 3hp shopvac so ran to Menards and spent $70 and got a 5 hp. That didn't help at all! I even waited 45 min. with the top open to hopefully get the bees up on the frames. Grr!

    Now my problem is that I'm almost 100% sure the queen died. The nuc I had in front of the hive has bees in it. The vac has bees in it. They hose on the shop vac smells like lemon grass and I noticed a lot of them were dead. Don't think the queen made it. Now, I did take them over to their new home and set the nuc and the vac'd bees in place. Will they queen themselves? what do I need to do!!
     
  18. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I just about finished mine today...ran out juice...I just have a few detail besides painting it and I will be finished...I will post a pic when I am finished.
     
  19. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    They can only requeen themselves if they have eggs. What makes you think you killed the queen?......did you find her?

    What was clogged up on the bee vac? the hose?.........sometimes I have to stop and wiggle the hose kind of hard to get them to on up into the vac. box.
     
  20. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I didn't find her but could smell lemongrass? Something is just telling me she is. I stopped, wiggled, thumped, sat, waited, looked for leaks. They would not suck up.

    Lets say the queen is gone. what can I do with the bees I captured? How long do I wait to see if queen is actually gone or not?