Caught a swarm! Help!

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Juliebeebee 

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Hi all,
:) Yesterday a huge swarm arrived in my garden & moved into my empty hive! Was very exciting to watch! So now i need to know what I should do next? Do I just leave them alone? Feed them?
Any advice gratefully received!
Thanks
Jules
 

Erichalfbee 

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Put some frames in this morning.
Do you keep bees already?
 

Do224 

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Congrats Jules.

I remember you saying you had scouts checking out your hive many weeks ago. Have they been scouting it all that time or did it go quiet for a while?

I’m very new to Beekeeping myself but based on the advice I’ve received on this forum, this is what I’d do...

If you’ve already got frames in the hive you can just leave them alone for a few days.

Maybe offer them a litre or two of 1:1 syrup on Friday, although there seems to be a strong flow on here in Cumbria so not sure how necessary it will be to feed.

You can then have a quick check in a week’s time and see if you can see eggs. If no eggs then you’ll have to wait for the queen to get mated.

If it’s a cast swarm with a virgin queen then I’m not sure if they’ll manage to fill your brood box in time for winter. You may have to overwinter them in a poly nuc or dummy down your brood box with insulation. Hopefully somebody with more experience will be along to offer advice on this
 

Bakerbee 

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Sounds like you're on the right track. I would take the opportunity to do a varroa treatment too.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Sounds like you're on the right track. I would take the opportunity to do a varroa treatment too.
Not yet. You need to let them settle.
My preferred option would be to pop in some Abelo strips in a week
 

madasafish 

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Well done. :love:
Put same frames with foundation in. They will draw them if undrawn. Make sure they are pushed tight together = or you will get brace (wild) comb everywhere.

Then DO NOTHING for a week to let them settle.

You can spend the week worrying about what to do next.:sick:
 

Tarahill 

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So it's generally considered a bad idea to move a swarm right away? A swarm just arrived here this morning....about 20 yards from my apiary, unfortunately I don't really have anywhere miles away where I can put them. I read somewhere that putting a frame of open brood into the box will ensure they will stay? Is this an effective technique?
 

Erichalfbee 

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You move swarms the night they arrive unless you are happy for them to stay where they are. The issue with moving them straight into your apiary is you don’t know if they are healthy
 

Boston Bees 

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So it's generally considered a bad idea to move a swarm right away? A swarm just arrived here this morning....about 20 yards from my apiary, unfortunately I don't really have anywhere miles away where I can put them. I read somewhere that putting a frame of open brood into the box will ensure they will stay? Is this an effective technique?
I've hived dozens of swarms, and never (touch wood) had a swarm decamp from a nuc I have put them in, and I have never given a swarm a frame of brood.

Get them in a nuc with some frames of foundation and or drawn comb in, wait till they all go to bed, move them to your apiary and stuff grass in the entrance so they realise they have moved.

Edit: Erichalfbee's point on disease is of course correct, but like most people I don't have an isolation apiary so just have to risk it and be paranoid about cross contamination between hives until I know they are disease free.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Edit: Erichalfbee's point on disease is of course correct, but like most people I don't have an isolation apiary so just have to risk it and be paranoid about cross contamination between hives until I know they are disease free.
It’s the same for most of us.
I just make sure the swarm is as far away from the existing colonies as I can get. It can always be moved in winter
And there are still two on the potting shed roof
 

Tarahill 

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I've hived dozens of swarms, and never (touch wood) had a swarm decamp from a nuc I have put them in, and I have never given a swarm a frame of brood.

Get them in a nuc with some frames of foundation and or drawn comb in, wait till they all go to bed, move them to your apiary and stuff grass in the entrance so they realise they have moved.

Edit: Erichalfbee's point on disease is of course correct, but like most people I don't have an isolation apiary so just have to risk it and be paranoid about cross contamination between hives until I know they are disease free.
Thanks for your reply. They're current in a manky old nuc box that I was using as a bait hive....there's just the one drawn comb in there. Would your advice be the same? Add the comb to the box in its current location, move when they're asleep and let them unplug the entrance tomorrow?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Thanks for your reply. They're current in a manky old nuc box that I was using as a bait hive....there's just the one drawn comb in there. Would your advice be the same? Add the comb to the box in its current location, move when they're asleep and let them unplug the entrance tomorrow?
Yes. That’s what I did with the first one this year. Move into a proper hive in a couple of days
 

Boston Bees 

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Thanks for your reply. They're current in a manky old nuc box that I was using as a bait hive....there's just the one drawn comb in there. Would your advice be the same? Add the comb to the box in its current location, move when they're asleep and let them unplug the entrance tomorrow?
Only caveat I'd add to the above is that a lot of swarms in July are very small and can/should stay in a nuc for even a few weeks (unless the nuc really is manky and cold - all mine are poly so are fairly snug).

But definitely move it to your desired apiary location tonight and fill it with frames ASAP or they will build crazy comb
 
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Sutty 

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The only thing I'd do differently is move it yesterday!
You may lose some bees that go back to your 1st location.
Alternatively move them a yard or so towards the eventually location each day or so.
 
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Tarahill 

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The only thing I'd do differently is move it yesterday!
You may lose some bees that go back to your 1st location.
Alternatively move them a yard or so towards the eventually location each day or so.
Fair enough...they only arrived today though.....maybe I'm hijacking jules's thread?!
 

REDWOOD 

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If it’s not a prime swarm leave alone for three weeks, let the new queen get mated and start laying before doing any thing, if you move the hive when the queen is out being mated then you are sure to loose her. One frame of comb is enough for her to start laying and if you have a good flow on there would be no need to feed yet
personally I wouldn’t treat for varroa yet.
Good luck
 

hemo 

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Hi all,
:) Yesterday a huge swarm arrived in my garden & moved into my empty hive! Was very exciting to watch! So now i need to know what I should do next? Do I just leave them alone? Feed them?
Any advice gratefully received!
Thanks
Jules
No need to feed for 3 days as they will bring in a large quantity of stores with them. Watch them for a few days and if the weather is good you should see them foraging. If no drawn comb then yes give some feed after 3 days as there will be no honey surplus this time of year from them, they will be busy comb building and prepping for the coming months ahead and laying down stores.
 

ericbeaumont 

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Put same frames with foundation in. Make sure they are pushed tight together
Well said, MAF.

Outcome will be flat combs which are interchangeable with others.

You may wonder why this is useful, Julie, but trust me, flat combs make easy work of frame management (shifting frames out or about).
 
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