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What can I do with theese bees?

2260 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Rick_Bee
This is a long story. My bees didn't survive the winter so I was in need of a swarm. I put my swarm trap out mid April. We were leaving for a 6 week vacation the beginning of May, so I was hopping to catch an early swarm. Turns out 1 day before we we were to leave my brother called and said he had a swarm at his house. So we went and got it and transferred it to my hive. We left on May 3rd not knowing how they would do. We got back June 12th and the swarm was doing well, but a swarm had moved into my swarm trap, and they looked well established. I should have covered the hole. I only have 1 hive, so after a couple of days wondering what to do I bought another hive on Amazon. By the time I got it and put it together we had a stretch of very hot days, including evenings and mornings. So another week or so passed before I decided to attempt a transfer of what was an established hive (never done that before). In the week before and up to the transfer on July 4th, the bees were all on the outside of the trap, I thought from the heat. Turns out the box was full of honeycomb, not a lot of room for bees. The transfer went OK, I took out each comb and brushed the bees down into the new hive top brood box with the frames removed. I am not good at identifying queens, but am pretty sure as I was brushing I saw her and brushed her down into the hive. As I was transferring my wife was videoing and had to move back quite a ways since bees were hitting her on her head. Turn out she was in the flight path between my hive and the tree where the swarm box was hung. After the transfer was complete about an hour or so later we noticed a lot of bees on the tree where the trap had hung. They are still there today. They aren't doing anything, no starting combs or anything, just hanging on the tree. They are flying around and seem a little aggressive, I can't get as close to them as I can my hives. I am at a loss of what I should do. We are hosting a birthday party for my granddaughter in 2 weeks and since the bees are right next to the driveway I need to do something about them. Any help would be appreciated.
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Either the queen was injured or she is on that tree. Let me think on this, and I'll post again in a little while
do you have a bee vacuum?
do you have a bee vacuum?
I do not. Could I modify my shop vac somehow . I have been considering vacuuming them off the tree as a last ditch effort.
A regular shopvac will kill them. I have built a bee vac using my regular shop vac, it takes a collection chamber. It's a fair amount of work if you don't plan on using it for removals. However if you get a bucket head vac from home depot and an orange homer bucket, a keyhole saw drill bit and screen, hot glue gun or some kind glue to attach screen over hole on the homer bucket, you can have a bee vac for less than $30. The screen over the hole reduces the pressure and lets them breathe while they are in the bucket. After they are off the tree, spray that area down with oh vinegar or soapy water or something to take the queen smell off the wood.

I am assuming the queen maybe was injured in the first move. Can you buy a mated queen to put in that hive? Then if you scoop bees to add them, and she's in a cage so they don't attack her (means releasing later unless it's a candy plug), they should move.
4 mos late, but for info...

First thing is decent queen finding skills are important, any work in this area will pay off well.
Don't look at each bee, look for the different bee, the large abdomen is hard to miss, often they are a different coloring than the nurse bees.

Swarming bees are usually docile, if they are bitchy they may not have a queen.

Vacuum up a queenless swarm and spray them with a good dose of sugar water so you can merge them with your existing?
Bob Binnie says "They will all be sisters when they get done licking off the sugar!" :)

DO NOT combine them if there is a second queen.....
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