Absconding swarms

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Brian Bush 

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Can anyone offer some advice. I have collected 4 swarms this year so far. 2 were prime swarms and very large. 1 prime swarm, smaller, and a cast swarm.
The small prime swarm absconded in 2 days.
One large prime swarm was too big for a NUC. I left it in the NUC for 3 days and changed it to a full size hive on Saturday. Sunday it had gone.

Yesterday collected a large prime and a small cast.

Large prime in hive and doing well tonight.

Small cast all over the outside of the NUC looking as though it is going.

Last year collected 9 swarms and only had one abscond.
I put drawn comb in all the swarm hives and feed immediately. What are the blighters up too?:party:
 

Poly Hive 

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Refusenicks... lol

My thoughts. FWTAW...

Nail them down with a frame of brood and put excluder over the entrance.

PH
 

andypigeon 

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i had the same with one the other day got it back and hived it again looked today and it has drawn out 90% of the 14x12 frames and full of nector all in a day, but the first time i lifted the cover board they all just shot up in the air and landed on a apple tree i have never seen bees leave as fast, within 5 secs all the bees were out the hive and flying
 

MuswellMetro 

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i had the same with one the other day got it back and hived it again looked today and it has drawn out 90% of the 14x12 frames and full of nector all in a day, but the first time i lifted the cover board they all just shot up in the air and landed on a apple tree i have never seen bees leave as fast, within 5 secs all the bees were out the hive and flying
i was taught not to feed them for 3 days or disturb them for 6 days

5the first to use up anydiseased honey for drawing, the second so the have brood and dont fly
 

Polyanwood 

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I was taught the same as MM. The reason being that the swarm will have 3 days' supply in their stomachs and you don't want them putting disease from those honey stores into your clean foundation. Is this a myth? I thought with a swarm of uncertain provenance where brood disease spores could be in the honey it sounded sensible???
 

victor meldrew 

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i had the same with one the other day got it back and hived it again looked today and it has drawn out 90% of the 14x12 frames and full of nector all in a day, but the first time i lifted the cover board they all just shot up in the air and landed on a apple tree i have never seen bees leave as fast, within 5 secs all the bees were out the hive and flying
Have a bath and change your deodorant :dupe:.

John Wilkinson
 

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Put a queen excluder between floor and brood box for a week and feed if they are not near a nectar source, re-queen as soon as possible.
kev
 

Poly Hive 

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A swarm has three days of food yes.

How old is the swarm when you collect it? If you KNOW where it comes from then fine but the vast majority of swarms I have collected have been *strangers* and so I have no idea of their age. Hence as a matter of routine I feed them.

I will say here probably fatally I have never had one abscond.

I also routinely have not given brood but I susgest it in a case where the swarm is obviously flighty, ie it has had to be collected more than once. The excluder under the brood box is a sound idea too.

Swarms can be great fun and also a total pain. Esp the phone calls.....

I have bees in the brick work. Masonry bees.
I have bees in the ground. Bumbles... I want a fiver for every one of those calls...
I have bees in the chimney. (That was a classic, turned out to be the neighbours chimney) LOL

And one in fifty is the real deal.

Do I drop all and run. Not now. Oh no. Call me back at 7pm if they are still there and I will come over. Much more sensible. ;)

PH
 

goodbobby 

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Hived a good size day old prime swarm today in a 14x 12 with 8 frames 0f undrawn foundation, the site is in pleasant dappled shade. They walked in fine on a white sheet, something to behold ! Waited until this evening when the temperature had dropped from the 30c high and took a feeder of syrup up to the away site.....they had left without trace! As my wife said ungrateful little B's! Is this an unusual occurrence or could the high temps made them flighty? Reading this link after the event, a QE under the brood box seems like a good idea? A smaller swarm I hived 2 weeks ago stayed put and is doing fine.
 

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