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Photos of (failed) attempt to rehome a bee swarm

 
Ann Torrence
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We kind of knew one hive needed to be split, but DH is overloaded at work. Today I was in the orchard and found the swarm. Panicked call to our bee mentors. We didn't have an empty hive (on DH's list...) so they brought one over. The mentors estimate at least 5 pounds of bees in the swarm. They didn't move more than 40' from the original hive. It's a river of bees out there now checking out the new hive. I hope they like it.
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Bee swarm on a Redfield apple tree
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Bee swarm relocating itself to a new hive
 
Patrick Mann
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Sweet - how did you get them interested in the new hive?

That's the advantage of a newly planted orchard: you don't need a ladder to capture your swarms
 
Ann Torrence
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I had to take the tree guard off. Scooped bees into a box and shook them into the hive.
 
David Livingston
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Nice one Anne
Did you see the bees already in the hive come out and wave their bottoms in the air ? To release scent to call the others in .

David
 
Michael Cox
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Ann - good job. Don't think I'd call that an "attempt". That photo looks like they are starting to march into the box.

I presume that they have settled properly?
 
Ann Torrence
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David, yes we did see that. We sat and watched for about 20 minutes, then my friends left.
Later that afternoon as it cooled off, I went out and forward progress had stalled out. They were in the shade now and circling the wagons.
Just checked on them this morning, and the mass outside is still alive. The sun should be on them in a bit, hopefully they will carry on. My friends said it could take more than a day.
 
Michael Cox
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You can probably hurry them up a bit - you can use a soft brush and piece of cardboard to gently lift clumps of bees and place them in the box. Once they get a critical mass of bees inside the pheromones should take over and get them really marching. Better yet if you can get the queen to enter the box.

Did you see her while they were marching? She sometimes runs around very obviously.
 
Ann Torrence
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Didn't see the queen. My attempts with the brush are pretty clumsy, going to just keep an eye on them. It was below 40 this morning, it will probably take them a while to get moving.
 
Ann Torrence
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This morning as it warmed up they started marching up into the hive. First 1x1 then a stream. That took about 2 hours from when the sun first hit them. I went to do something else, came out of the house to a loud buzzing. A hurricane of bees about 10' in the air, moving slowly away from the hive. They gathered steam as I had to go out a gate and by the time they reached the top of my property a couple hounded feet away, they took off. I called the mayor, a friend of ours, who will likely hear about it if someone complains.

Right now I am leaving the attempted capture hive alone. They may have left some bees in it. Maybe there were two queens. Dunno. If it empties, I will use it as bait. I don't know what else I could have done.
 
Michael Cox
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I bought one of these recently:

Queen Catcher Clip

If/when you see the queen in either a swarm or a cut-out colony you can catch her in the clip and place the clip in the box. The bees will smell her and march in. The nurse bees will care for her in the clip and they won't abscond as the queen can't get out. Once they have been settled for a few days you release the queen again to laying.

I caught 7 swarms last year, mostly the old fashioned way by dropping them on a sheet and letting the march into the box. I saw the queen running on the sheet in 4 of those.
 
David Livingston
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Firstly
Its pretty obvious you did capture the queen . Otherwise the others would not have signaled that she was in the hive and called the stragglers to come to her .
Secondly they obviously did not like the hive , maybe too close to home or it could be that too many of the bees were still in swarm mode having been outside all night and when they found a new home they went for it .
The only think you could have done was have a queen includer or moved the hive once you had the bees inside ( and closed up )
Finding the queen can be quite tricky and can lead to damaging the queen or even rejection of the queen so would not have been my first choice of actions .

David
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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