Caught Swarm Question

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markb2603

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Hi Folks,

I got a call this morning about a swarm from a neighbour and they asked if there was anything I could do to remove them. Went over and after a good look around I assumed that the swarm had moved into the roof area (flat roof) and there was little I could do to get them out unless we took a bit of the roof off to try get them out. I assumed the swarm had moved in as there were maybe a couple of hundred bees flying around outside. No cluster though.

I left and was driving back home, about 500m from the house, hanging over the road about 3.5m up was an amazing cluster of bees. Long story short, I managed to get a lift up and given I couldn't easily remove the branch the swarm was on, I shook the swarm into a nuc box and placed it nearby. I plan to go back later this evening once everyone is settled in for the night and move them back to a more permanent spot. For info the nuc box had one frame with drawn comb on and 5 empty frames with comb guides.

3 quick questions if someone would oblige:

1. Is it likely that the bees at the house were scout bees for the cluster spotted down the road or could these be 2 separate swarms? It would be too much of a coincidence right?
2. Has my approach been the correct one, as in shaking the swarm into the box, placing it nearby in a safe space and planning to go back for it later?
3. I noticed maybe 5-10% of the original swarm back clustering at the original spot shortly after all this. Does that mean I potentially missed the queen and she is back up there? the nuc box is open and bees seemed happy enough in the nuc when I left them ,they weren't swarming out anyway.


Thanks very much in advance. And I can post an update later on tonight when I go back for them.
 

Erichalfbee

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Do let us know what happens. If they are the same bees let’s hope they prefer your nuc box to the roof.
Normally yes leave the box nearby for the rest of the swarm to move in to. I like to see bees fanning at the entrance indicating the queen’s in. As for the congregation back on the branch the queen could be there or it just could be the smell of the swarm. Time will tell
 

Newbeeneil

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If the bees are scouts from the swarm I think the chances are they will have disappeared into the roof by the time you go to pick them up. I would have taken 90% of the bees away if I thought the original bees were scouts
 

markb2603

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Thanks for the replies guys.

Happy to report that I picked up the nuc last night after dark and put them in their new permanent home. Bees are happy out orientating this morning. A few stragglers at the original house but they should find their way back to their original hive over the next day or so.

All in all a successful operation.
 
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There is another possibility, unbeknown to your neighbour he's had bees in his roof for a number of years and what he was seeing were the bees in the roof swarming out to look for a new home, the swarm you found. Not looking to enter the roof for the first time.
 

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Thanks for the replies guys.

Happy to report that I picked up the nuc last night after dark and put them in their new permanent home. Bees are happy out orientating this morning. A few stragglers at the original house but they should find their way back to their original hive over the next day or so.

All in all a successful operation.
Phew. Well done
 

markb2603

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Quick update/follow up question on this post. Swarm was much larger than I thought, nuc box was very very busy during the day last week so went to move into a full hive on Saturday. Amazingly, the bees had drawn out 4 full foundationless frames with comb (perfectly straight) and had started on a 5th. Comb was full of stores and amazingly I spotted plenty of eggs (after only 3 days). Also, the calmest of my hives as well. So all good news and a gem of a find.

Since moving the bees into the full hive, the activity levels have remained strong, much much stronger than my other two hives which it about 50m away and in a slightly shadier part of the site. Like 3 to 4 x busier and they are going about a good hour or two before the other two hives. My question is, is this typical swarm behaviour as they settle in? Or, could it be that this specific colony is just busier? Or, could it be down to location?

thanks
 

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My question is, is this typical swarm behaviour as they settle in? Or, could it be that this specific colony is just busier? Or, could it be down to location?
Yes. Swarms are in a hurry. They have to get through the winter so there is much work to do. The bees arriving with the swarm will all be dead in six weeks. They have to leave a legacy behind.
 

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