catching a swarm

Maggiesdad

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Pshaw - steel your nerves and jump right in! (says the newbie!) ;)

Level your gaze across the table at your DH, and tell him "Come now, we can do this!(don't forget to blink, in the appropriate manner) "It will be a xxxxdisasterxxxx - an adventure! Besides, we can't leave (friend) hanging with all those bees in her house... why it might just explode with honey in late summer, and that would be a HUGE mess!" Hee hee tell him that. :weee

Seriously though, if you get 'one' package, and low level involvement, there's a good chance your first colony will fail. If you get the package and ramp up the involvement to where you know how and when to time the disturbance, then your bees benefit from your knowledge and you gain the house colony.

An alternate way could be to set bait hives at the affected house, and after catching the swarm that that colony throws, kill all the bees in the wall... but that's a lousy way to go.
Depending on the colony size, the bees and brood in there could be worth between $200-$400.

I say find a local beek that has done this, and go in with them and learn the process. Let DH do the repair work so your friend doesn't get burned with bills. Work a deal with the beek for a shook nuc from the colony, or something like that - so you get a colony start from them. And maybe a little honey? :love


Years later, when you hand the reins to your honey empire over to your grandkids, they'll beg you to tell them one more time the tale about how you and grampa got started w/ bees! :clap :cool:
 

babsbag

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@Maggiesdad I like the idea of working with a local beek; you get his experience and you get to learn and if DH does the repairs that is even better.

Horrible idea to kill the bees,:hit but I am sure you agree.

The one swarm I captured did not do well, they stayed in the hive maybe 3 months and then disappeared. In retrospect I should have re-queened them.

My first colony was not a package but an established hive, it was probably the best colony I have owned. I have bought packages and splits since then and don't really see a difference between them. The splits are coming off of almond pollination contracts and I lose them at alarming rates. I am not buying them again, will be buying packages this year.

Bees are a hard hobby. And expensive.
 

Alicia

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Well...thanks for the input all. I have started to search online for local bees. Haven't gotten response back yet.
 

Alicia

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I personally would just dive and take my chances...I'm a little more daring with stuff like this than the DH. Looked into northwestbeesuppy.com
Not sure. Would have to drive to Olympia I think yo get them. Wil keep looking
 

Happy Chooks

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Sorry, I agree with DH. I have collected a swarm from a tree and that was hard enough. The bees in a colony will be very protective of their home and they won't like you cutting and sawing on their "hive". I am not sure that any amount of smoke is going to keep them happy. Personally I wouldn't volunteer for the job, buy some packaged bees, much easier way to start.

I also agree here. I'd leave the colony removal to those experienced in that area.
 

Alicia

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Starting to lean more and more in that direction. I want happy bees. Lol
 

Happy Chooks

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Another thought, when you are new to beekeeping and looking at a frame with 100's of bees on it, even with a marked queen, she is still hard to spot. So a purchase by Nuc or package of bees will give you the edge when you do need to find the queen.

This was the video when I installed my hive with a 3lb package of bees. (9999 bees and a queen)
 

babsbag

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Queens are illusive at best and if you go after the colony and don't get the queen you will most likely lose them anyway. It would be interesting to watch a pro do it though.
 

Alicia

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That's a lot of bees. I did think/worry about the idea of not getting the queen or hurting some of the bees. Have any of you heard of northwest bee supply? Thinking of ordering from them
 

babsbag

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I have not heard of them but there are many local apiaries so I am sure there are many I buy from that no one knows about.

Not sure where my bees are coming from this year.
 
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