Caught a swarm - what next?

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Darryl

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A swarm has taken up residence in my bait hive (5 frame nuc; 1x old comb and 4x foundation). They are foraging and seem calm. I have added a feeder with 1:1 syrup to help with comb building.
1. How long after arrival should I open up the nuc and inspect?
2. How long when should I transfer to a full hive?
Any guidance would be welcome as this is my first swarm capture.
Thanks
 

JamezF

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I'd probably have a look after a two or three days if they're in a nuc. I gave my first swarm (in a full size national bait hive) about ten days and they'd drawn all but one frame from starter strips and the queen had clearly already started laying. A big prime swarm in a 5-frame nuc could run out of space fairly quickly.

I'd personally be inclined to look at transferring to a full hive around the point when they have two frames worth of sealed brood I think, otherwise space could get a bit tight again once they emerge. Other people certainly have more experience than me in transferring swarms from nucs to full hives though, as I've never put a swarm in a nuc.

I wouldn't had fed them either. For disease management I prefer that they initially draw comb using the stores they brought with them and by that stage they're usually foraging well enough that they can sustain things.

James
 

Ian123

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Depends on the size of the swarm, open up and look.
 

enrico

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The weather is warm. IMHO size doesn't matter unless it is too small ( obviously talking about hives!) So I put them in a full size hive where I want them to reside in my apiary as quickly as possible, especially if the bait hive is near your apiary!
 

Darryl

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Thanks all.
Not sure of size but I'll take a peek today when the wind abates. The bait hive is in the apiary on the allotments so far enough away from my home ones. The plan is to swop bait for full on the same stand. I fed 1:1 them since I think it may have been the same swarm clustering on a neighbour's tree, just out of reach!! They disappeared on the same day as the bait hive was occupied. They had been on the tree for over a week so I assumed that they had used up most of their stores.
 

Newbeeneil

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I have caught a swarm in a 5 frame nuc box on one of my apiaries. (It's not one of mine as I've not had either swarm there)
I had an old comb and one frame with a starter strip as I normally get to the box before they have drawn too much comb. Unfortunately when I noticed the swarm and opened the box the little buggers have decided they like the box but not the frames and have constructed their comb at right angles to the frames!!!!!
I'm not looking forward to the cut out 😂
 

Darryl

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Good luck. I rehoused mine this morning. Bees on 3 frames and some stores on one. Just put the three frames in the hive with 3 foundation one either side and dummy boards at the edges. Still there at teatime so, hopefully, it's to their liking and they won't abscond.
 

JamezF

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I have caught a swarm in a 5 frame nuc box on one of my apiaries. (It's not one of mine as I've not had either swarm there)
I had an old comb and one frame with a starter strip as I normally get to the box before they have drawn too much comb. Unfortunately when I noticed the swarm and opened the box the little buggers have decided they like the box but not the frames and have constructed their comb at right angles to the frames!!!!!
I'm not looking forward to the cut out 😂

That's a bit of a nightmare :( I was astonished when I opened up the bait hive used by this year's first swarm and found a beautiful set of frames drawn out from the starter strips I'd provided (one frame of old comb, ten frames with starter strips) nicely incorporating the fishing line to support the comb. I really wasn't expecting it to turn out quite so well.

James
 

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