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Trying to catch my first swarm

Discussion in 'Bee Swarms, Bee Behavior, & Bee Queens' started by Happy Chooks, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. May 3, 2016
    Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Loving the herd life

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    @Latestarter the one I gave to my bee buddy took to the Warre dead out immediately. They were hauling out dead bees from the old comb within the hour.
    Of the four swarms I've caught so far, one was either feral or of my neighbors hives, the other three were mine. One was from a langstroth the other two were from top bars. None of the swarms I've caught have absconded. I give them a quart of 1/1 and a pollen patty, plus a little comb if I've got it to spare. Also the boxes I've put mine in have had bees in them already, so they smell like home. Between splits and swarms, I'm at 19 colonies now... plus I put seven queen cells in a topbar castle.
    Somebody stop me!:weee:th
     
    Samantha drawz and Latestarter like this.
  2. May 3, 2016
    Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Loving the herd life

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    If 3-4lbs of bees are in the air, you can hear them from 40-50 yards away. If they've already gathered at the resting spot, you just have to be tuned in to unusual bee activity to pick them out.The drones go with them, and that's the giveaway to me. The cluster clusters, and the boys buzz about begging for handouts.
     
  3. May 3, 2016
    Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Loving the herd life

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    Twice now I've been able to just sit beside the swarm and watch it, and see the queen when she surfaces. She swims through the whole cluster mass like a porpoise and that's how they know she's still with them instead of her holding still and them transferring the smell. The first time I scooped her up in a double handful of bees to put her in the box... today when she went boogying across the surface I just reached out and grabbed her by the wings and stuck her head first into the empty hole of a queen cage. She went right in, I dipped it into the swarm and picked up about 10-15 bees, two attendants went right in the hole with her. So I plugged it with a stick and set the whole kaboodle in the topbar. Piece of cake!
     
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  4. May 3, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Man... all I can say is :th:bow:bow:bow:bow:bow
     
  5. May 3, 2016
    Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Loving the herd life

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    :oops:

    Oy Stobbit! :hu
     
  6. May 4, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Ditto! 19 hives, wow you are really busy!
     
  7. May 9, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Went to visit MIL's house yesterday, still no activity in the swarm trap. She said the beekeeper was there a couple of days ago tending to the 90 hives. Darnit, he's doing too good of a job! They are on the main blackberry flow now, so we'll see how it goes.
     
  8. Jun 4, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Crap, crap, crap. I was getting ready to inspect my hives this morning when my husband came in and said they were swarming. Sure enough, it was a swarm. They conveniently (not) settled about 60 ft in the air on a branch of a pine tree. I got a NUC box set up now, with a frame of open brood from one of the hives and baited it with lemongrass oil. Now I just have to wait and see if I get it.



    Off to the supply store for more hive equipment now. Pictures of the swarm later. Not where I was hoping to catch a swarm, but hopefully I'll get them.:fl
     
  9. Jun 4, 2016
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    Good luck, I hope you get them back. Fortunately mine all settled low enough to catch them. I haven't been back in them in a few weeks so maybe tomorrow; I still need to see the queen in one of them, but they all look busy.

    It seems that no matter what we do at times nature just has a way of doing what it is intended to do.
     
  10. Jun 4, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Hope you're able to catch them.