First swarm call of the year.

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Newbeeneil

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
4,806
Reaction score
4,569
Location
Fernhurst Sussex
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
40 plus 23 that I maintain for clients.
I got a call yesterday from a guy who said he had 2 swarms in the car park of a care home in Bentley nr Farnham.
Since I was already up to my eyes in inspections and it was a round trip of the best part of 40miles I declined and suggested he looked up the BBKA swarm line for local beeks.
Forgot to ask how he got my name.
 
Maybe you and your honey are famous
I think you are right, customers seem to come to get honey from my front door from miles away but the mobile number he rang me on is not know by many! Most use my other mobile number!!!!!
 
I got my first callout of the year yesterday ( having picked up 2 swarms I stumbled across at the weekend), the swarm was mahoussive and there were still a lot of bees flying around after i had them in my skep,
so I dutifully left them to settle and went back to collect them in the evening - to find only 3 bees left! They'd all flown off. Gutted to have put in the effort for nothing - next time I'll just take what I have and come back later for the flying bees if they settle back on the swarm site 😕
 
I got my first callout of the year yesterday ( having picked up 2 swarms I stumbled across at the weekend), the swarm was mahoussive and there were still a lot of bees flying around after i had them in my skep,
so I dutifully left them to settle and went back to collect them in the evening - to find only 3 bees left! They'd all flown off. Gutted to have put in the effort for nothing - next time I'll just take what I have and come back later for the flying bees if they settle back on the swarm site 😕
I had the same thing happen a few years ago..... a massive swarm on an acre tree 3ft off the ground just plonked into a box. Left it there for an hour or so to collect a few stragglers only to fine them gone when I returned.. ☹️
I whip them away straight away nowadays. 😀
 
I had the same thing happen a few years ago..... a massive swarm on an acre tree 3ft off the ground just plonked into a box. Left it there for an hour or so to collect a few stragglers only to fine them gone when I returned.. ☹️
I whip them away straight away nowadays. 😀
That's what I'll be doing in future! 😊
 
That's what I'll be doing in future! 😊
Not wishing to sound a grump but that’s not best practice - you may lose the odd swarm as you’ve already experienced but not often. Whipping away the swarm during the day will just leave a mass of bees drifting around with no purpose. Others may then be called out to collect the remnants which are a pain to deal with.
If you must then at least leave a container to collect later in the day to reunite the stragglers.
Always worth having a spare hive or a large cardboard box for those swarms of monster proportion.
 
I get the occasional unsolicited swarm call-I think it's from swarm collectors passing on jobs they can't be arsed with.....

If it's a warm evening they won't settle readily which is a PITA when you've been called out just before teatime

I plonk swarms in a correx box with an entrance disk dialed to QX.
That way they won't leave and you can return early doors to scoop up and scarper.
Usually they've made a start on the frames by then so easing the transition to the permanent vessel
 
Don’t they just go home in the end?
they sometimes hang around for days (their 'memory' of the old hive has been wiped) getting more p!ssy by the hour and sometimes take it out on passers by.
IMHO it's poor practice to just whip away a caught swarm immediately, ubnless there's no choice.
 
I've not had a swarm call for two or three years now, but my practice is usually to leave the collection box on site until dark o'clock and take them away then. I've found that people will often let you "borrow" a patch of lawn or driveway for a few hours if necessary.

James
 
Just had a call from someone in a nearby village whose neighbour had informed them that they had a swarm in their chimney. One to leave well alone.

James
 
Not wishing to sound a grump but that’s not best practice - you may lose the odd swarm as you’ve already experienced but not often. Whipping away the swarm during the day will just leave a mass of bees drifting around with no purpose. Others may then be called out to collect the remnants which are a pain to deal with.
If you must then at least leave a container to collect later in the day to reunite the stragglers.
Always worth having a spare hive or a large cardboard box for those swarms of monster proportion.
Not in my experience. The stragglers seem to remain for a few hours then disappear, I assume back to the original colony.
 
We got a call yesterday from a farmer. He was on his tractor when he noticed a swarm that had settled on a big thistle he was about to plough over (lucky Bees!) It was a huge prime swarm with a marked queen and we didnt have much choice but to whip them away as they were in the middle of a field being ploughed.
 
Had another call today. It was in a tree on iffy ground so I came back to get my three-legged ladder (the swarm was barely a mile away) and just as I was getting back in the car I got a message to say it had flown off.

Then a friend who is doing some building work nearby messaged me to say that one had just flown over him heading in my direction.

It's crazy out there...

James
 
And then there was another... This time on a fencepost. Not a large swarm, but I smoked at least half of them up into a cardboard box and set it down on a sheet nearby with a lump of wood propping up one side.

They flew away :(

The small swarm I took yesterday has also absconded from the nuc that I put them in. Not my lucky day today.

In the last three days I've had:

One swarm in the bait hive, two caught and hived (one absconded), two flew off before or during capture and one declined as impractical to take.

There's also a fair bit of un-scout-like behaviour around the new bait hive. I'm wondering if that's a colony that's moved in when I wasn't looking, or a few bees from the initial bait hive swarm that didn't notice things had changed and have come back to what they think is their new home. They're quite persistent if they're the latter though. It's been two days since I moved them.

James
 
Just a few drones here: no sign of any swarming so far..
First week for about a month with temperatures over 12C..
 
And then there was another... This time on a fencepost. Not a large swarm, but I smoked at least half of them up into a cardboard box and set it down on a sheet nearby with a lump of wood propping up one side.

They flew away :(

The small swarm I took yesterday has also absconded from the nuc that I put them in. Not my lucky day today.

In the last three days I've had:

One swarm in the bait hive, two caught and hived (one absconded), two flew off before or during capture and one declined as impractical to take.

There's also a fair bit of un-scout-like behaviour around the new bait hive. I'm wondering if that's a colony that's moved in when I wasn't looking, or a few bees from the initial bait hive swarm that didn't notice things had changed and have come back to what they think is their new home. They're quite persistent if they're the latter though. It's been two days since I moved them.

James
Keep a mist sprayer in your kit….. the first thing you do finding a swarm is give it a good spray!! Tends to prevent the taking off in mid collection but, I’ve had it happen myself.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top