• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

I caught my first swarm today

 
Todd Parr
Posts: 572
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
6
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made quite a mess of it and may have killed my apple tree, but I caught a swarm today! It isn't as easy as it looks on youtube. I tried three times before succeeding (probably) on the fourth. Twice after I got them out of my apple tree they flew right back in, including once after I cut the whole top of the tree off. The swarm was previously on the main trunk near the top. I cut it off to get them down after my attempts at shaking them out didn't work. They just went back to a different branch. The next time I shook them out, they went to an entirely different tree. The last time they appeared to be staying in my empty Warre hive.

swarm3.jpg
[Thumbnail for swarm3.jpg]
swarm.jpg
[Thumbnail for swarm.jpg]
 
Mary-Ellen Zands
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Congrats! We caught our first swarms last year too. This year I plan to make a swarm lure. Much less work, and hopefully easier to transfer to our warre hives. We also had swarms in the most difficult places. Top of the teepee in the garden about 12 ft up. Another time in the chain link fence, which was also difficult removal.
Hope your hive thrives and survives next winter. Just make sure you don't harvest honey this year!
 
Todd Parr
Posts: 572
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It seems I spoke to soon. I went out to check them a couple hours later and they had left. This time I couldn't find them again.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 1711
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands
316
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Perhaps next time, home them into the box that already has drawn comb...
 
Mel Green
Posts: 26
Location: Australia
3
fish forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well done! I hope they do well
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 131
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
8
bee dog forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey, good work!

We also had our first swarms this year... I was late in opening the nest (2/3 LR) and the bees decided to go for it. Each of the 3 hives cast 2 swarms; with a lot of help from a local veteran beekeeper all but one were caught. We've had all sorts - the highest was on a neighbor's 25 ft apple tree and the lowest one was, well, on the ground in a raspberry patch.

The last swarm appeared just as it started to rain and settled on a small apple tree just only 15 ft from the hives when the raindrops hit it. My helpful veteran was not available at the time and the rain was increasing so I did it myself - shook them in a cardboard box and wrapped it in a sheet. The bees were at about 6 ft height and very subdued because of the rain - it's hard to imagine better conditions for a first-time catch.

Then it was time to worry whether the new queens in the old hives "took"... At the moment at least one of the old hives has definitely got laying workers so I put an open brood frame into it from another hive - according to M. Bush etc this is a better approach than shaking all the bees out at some distance and introducing the queen. We'll see. The other two seem to be on a good path though.

The swarm from the neighbor's tall apple tree, the one hardest to catch, was of course also the largest. It's going full steam ahead, the queen is laying like a handbook picture so we already moved 2 frames of covered brood from this one into the weaker new hives + the one of open brood metioned above.

Right now we're in a sensitive spot - spring forage is done; as much of there was of it after a late frost. The next big event are pumpkins in 3 weeks or so. Keeping fingers crossed for all the girls.


  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic