1st Swarm Video - & me running away lots

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RichardK 

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Thanks for the great video Richard! Glad you got them in safely.

One thing, I saw you returning back to the box to collect bees that had returned, no doubt because the Queen's pheromones were still on the bait hive surface where the swarm had congregated. A really good tip that was I given once was to use either a deodorant spray or a squirty bottle filled with something like Jeyes fluid to spray the area where the bees were once you've brushed them away. This masks the Q's pheromone and helps stop bees returning to that spot thinking the Q's still there (and saves you trekking backwards and forwards). We now have a squirty bottle permanently in our swarm kit just for this.

Not sure roll-on will work as well. :giggle:
That is a top tip - will remember that! Thanks.
 

RichardK 

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Next time just remember you only need the queen in the box - the rest of the bees will follow. One shake - to get them in the box, carefully add the extra frames, place the crown board on and job done.

Was this a swarm which simply happened to cluster on your bait hive? Looks like it may have been. If it was a swarm into the bait hive from a previously clustered swarm, they would soon have been populating the bait hive.

I collected a swarm recently, clustered on a shrub branch. Shook once and replaced removed frames and box top and left them to get on with it. I did return to get the ‘stragglers’ (that went back to the bush) airborne. That sorted it. Left until evening and closed up for removal to new home. You will know if you got the queen - if not the bees in the box would have simply vacated and clustered around the queen.
It was just a passing swarm - the hive had been pretty active for 4 or 5 days. To begin with they did start entering, but for whatever reason the queen can't have gone in & so they all came back out. I left them about 4 hours and then decided to move them. In retrospect I should absolutely have unhooked the bait hive & just tapped them into the other hive. So obvious except when you're nervous as hell & not thinking straight! Live & learn.
 

Do224 

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Really enjoyed the video and thought you did a grand job...wish I’d done that with my swarm!

I was given a tip by a guy at my local association yesterday. He advised that I use a ‘mister’ to spray a fine mist of sugar water over a cluster of bees before trying to collect them. He said it would mean they would be unable (or less likely) to fly off. I wonder if that’s a sensible thing to do or duff advice....can anyone confirm?

He offered another tip I’ve never heard before too... he said when you come to feed a newly hived swarm you should add a couple of drops of lemongrass oil to the syrup?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Really enjoyed the video and thought you did a grand job...wish I’d done that with my swarm!

I was given a tip by a guy at my local association yesterday. He advised that I use a ‘mister’ to spray a fine mist of sugar water over a cluster of bees before trying to collect them. He said it would mean they would be unable (or less likely) to fly off. I wonder if that’s a sensible thing to do or duff advice....can anyone confirm?

He offered another tip I’ve never heard before too... he said when you come to feed a newly hived swarm you should add a couple of drops of lemongrass oil to the syrup?
If you get the queen you don't need to anoint the bees with anything. Waste of time.
You don't need lemongrass oil either
 

bingevader 

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I think the brood box and its stand would have fitted under the bait box for you to shake them straight in.
I do that with a swarm in a bush or tree, but I am wondering why you needed to do it with the bait hive?
Am I missing something? But surely the idea of a bait hive is that you leave them settle inside the box and then just transfer out the frames covered in bees? :unsure:
It's what we do with ours. :)
 

RichardK 

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I think the brood box and its stand would have fitted under the bait box for you to shake them straight in.
I do that with a swarm in a bush or tree, but I am wondering why you needed to do it with the bait hive?
Am I missing something? But surely the idea of a bait hive is that you leave them settle inside the box and then just transfer out the frames covered in bees? :unsure:
It's what we do with ours. :)
They didn't seem to want to go into the box. I waited 4 hours and around 6pm, with no movement from them decided to 'help them' a bit! The intention had been to leave them in the bait hive for a few days or so, which is exactly what happened with the next swarm 3 days later.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I was given a tip by a guy at my local association yesterday. He advised that I use a ‘mister’ to spray a fine mist of sugar water over a cluster of bees before trying to collect them. He said it would mean they would be unable (or less likely) to fly off. I wonder if that’s a sensible thing to do or duff advice....can anyone confirm?
Bit silly that, he's obviously heard about misting them with water then added the rest of the story himself. The rationale of misting the bees is simple (read Seeley) when the swarm is bivouacked debating on where to move to, once the decision has been made, together with the piping and the shoving, the temperature of the cluster rises, then they swarm/fly off so, the first thing you should do when assessing a swarm, and getting your kit ready to box them is, spray them with plain water, this will cool the cluster down and (hopefully) stop the bees flying off as you get your swarm box ready.
He offered another tip I’ve never heard before too... he said when you come to feed a newly hived swarm you should add a couple of drops of lemongrass oil to the syrup?
absolute guff - there seems to be an obsession amongst some to add lemongrass oil to everything, absolute waste of time.
 

Do224 

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I think the brood box and its stand would have fitted under the bait box for you to shake them straight in.
I do that with a swarm in a bush or tree, but I am wondering why you needed to do it with the bait hive?
Am I missing something? But surely the idea of a bait hive is that you leave them settle inside the box and then just transfer out the frames covered in bees? :unsure:
It's what we do with ours. :)
I wonder what prevents the bees from going inside the bait hive sometimes and clustering on the box.

When the swarm clustered on my box I noticed some of the bees were attempting to pull the cotton wool (which had a few drops of lemongrass oil on, about 3 weeks old) out of the entrance. They got the cotton wool out and it was hanging from the entrance so I went up and removed it completely.

I wonder if cotton wool is a bad idea...
 

Erichalfbee 

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I wonder what prevents the bees from going inside the bait hive sometimes and clustering on the box.

When the swarm clustered on my box I noticed some of the bees were attempting to pull the cotton wool (which had a few drops of lemongrass oil on, about 3 weeks old) out of the entrance. They got the cotton wool out and it was hanging from the entrance so I went up and removed it completely.

I wonder if cotton wool is a bad idea...
Well they do say queens don’t like lemongrass so perhaps they just couldn’t get her in past it. If I use lemongrass it’s simply one or two dots on a couple of the top bars, and then only when first setting up. Painting the inside with propolis is my go to method.
 

RichardK 

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Really enjoyed the video and thought you did a grand job...wish I’d done that with my swarm!

I was given a tip by a guy at my local association yesterday. He advised that I use a ‘mister’ to spray a fine mist of sugar water over a cluster of bees before trying to collect them. He said it would mean they would be unable (or less likely) to fly off. I wonder if that’s a sensible thing to do or duff advice....can anyone confirm?

He offered another tip I’ve never heard before too... he said when you come to feed a newly hived swarm you should add a couple of drops of lemongrass oil to the syrup?
Thanks Dave. I might have left them had it not been for a guy on a French forum who said the entrance hole was too small (in retrospect I think he was incorrect). That tipped me over. I've heard mention of a mist sprayer rather than a smoker but nothing else.

How are your bait hives looking? There's still time to catch a swarm.
 

Do224 

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Thanks Dave. I might have left them had it not been for a guy on a French forum who said the entrance hole was too small (in retrospect I think he was incorrect). That tipped me over. I've heard mention of a mist sprayer rather than a smoker but nothing else.

How are your bait hives looking? There's still time to catch a swarm.
No interest in the bait hives at the moment but better weather forecast for the weekend...
 

drdrday 

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Well they do say queens don’t like lemongrass so perhaps they just couldn’t get her in past it. If I use lemongrass it’s simply one or two dots on a couple of the top bars, and then only when first setting up. Painting the inside with propolis is my go to method.
I think this was a factor with one of the swarms that turned up for me over the bank holiday. They were interested in an empty hive that happened to be the only bait box I had with a sachet of swarm lure in (pretty fresh too as it had only been added that week).
When the swarm arrived, probably half went straight in or on the landing board and there was fanning at the entrance, but the other half stayed in the air and didn't seem to want to settle, so I wondered if they'd lost the queen somehow. Half an hour later and there were even more in the air until they bivouaced all together in a tree a few feet away.
I'd read (on here I think) that queens don't like lemongrass much, so took the sachet of lure out of the hive in case that had been putting the queen off of going inside, and therefore the rest of the swarm too. Gave the box a quick squirt of air freshener too, to cover the lure scent. Then I just knocked the swarm into a box and tipped them in the hive and they stayed put.
May be a total coincidence of course, but it does mean I won't bother with lure any more. I got it before I had bees in hopes of getting some freebees, but now I have old brood comb it's not necessary.
 
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