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Foxylad 

House Bee
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Got a call today at 2pm of a swarm on a fence. Rushed home from work, box of bits and i was away. Please ignore the corrosive sticker it was the only box i could find!!
Found two small clumps of bees in the grass next to a fence. Had a look at the first clump and immediately saw a marked queen with a green mark, looked like both her wings were clipped and she was trying to fly.
I luckily had a queen marking cage in my pocket which i scooped her up, but her in the cardboard box. Waited for a good hour before they really started to get the right idea about going into the box.
Had to smoke the first clump of bees to get them to move, i first thought they might be two queens, im not that lucky!!
Anyways, the box is now sat in a cool dark place, ready to be hived a dusk.
I am going to hive them into a nuc box first, would i be better taking some brood and stores from one of my other hives? If i give them some capped stores will i still need to feed them, i don't think ive a feeder small enough for the nuc.
 

justme 

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i don't think ive a feeder small enough for the nuc.
Just make a feeder from either a jam/honey jar or a plastic food container with tight fitting lid, use a hot needle or something to make holes in the plastic lid or a small nail to do the same with the meatal lid. I did this today works great:.)
 

MuswellMetro 

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Just make a feeder from either a jam/honey jar or a plastic food container with tight fitting lid, use a hot needle or something to make holes in the plastic lid or a small nail to do the same with the meatal lid. I did this today works great:.)
i use a tupperware style plastic box, make holes in the middle of the lid over an area less that the porter escape hole, or Nuc feed hole....fill it up to the brim and turn over...some syrup will come out...especialy if you leave too much air gap, but it will stop

not a fan of foreign store frame for a swarm nuc, iwould want then to use their stored honey to make comb...safer if they just might carry EFB in their honey...feed after two or three days...then add store if you wish
 

Midland Beek 

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Isn't a nuc box going to be a bit cramped if you give a couple of frames from other stocks? Maybe the swarm is a small one ... can't really tell from the pics.

And a moderately sized swarm with a feed or good weather will fill out a nuc box no time at all.
 

Foxylad 

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Hived ok, just before the rain. Made a feeder but will make another tomorrow, drips to fast for my liking.
I will move them to another hive which is currently a double BB.
Not a very large swarm, probably a cast.
Ive a huge smile at the moment, nothing better than free bees.:party:
 

kazmcc 

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Loved your pics Foxylad, loved the one of them all walking into the box, how do you do that? Do you put the queen in there and they follow her?

Good to hear you are enjoying your freebies ( free bees, get it :D ) never mind lol
 

beebreeder 

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Just another tip for new beekeepers that want swarms, Essential oils lemongrass is a great bee attractant, and re-queen your swarm ASAP as they are obviously swarmy bees.
 

admin 

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and re-queen your swarm ASAP as they are obviously swarmy bees.
I am not 100% sure of this,surely any hive with a queen from the previous year that gets congested will attempt to swarm ?

I would call swarmy bees ones that build swarm cells and seal them when there is still room in the hive.
 

kazmcc 

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Ahhh, so it depends on the queen whether the bees want to swarm? Some queens are more swarmy than others?

Did he used the queen to get them in the box? Or will it be some other attractant?

All these questions.....I have so many :)
 

kazmcc 

Queen Bee
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Just read your reply admin, as I was typing you must have just sneaked in lol.

I thought it was a bit unfair as isn't swarming part of bees nature. But then again, I don't know about this stuff yet. I suppose if they kept getting off then you might cull that queen, but would bees do that.....just keep on swarming or is it a once a year type thing?
 

Firegazer 

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kazmcc,
I think all well-functioning colonies have the urge to swarm when the main conditions are met:

1) right time of year (to allow new colony to get strong by Winter);
2) drones about (for the new virgin to mate with);
3) enough stores in the current hive (to keep it going through the population reduction);
4) running out of room - which suggests this genetic combination is a successful one and should be multiplied.

I think Admin is saying that some queens will overdo this urge and swarm a lot more often than this and that those genetics should be scrubbed (crunch!) in favour of a queen that is more balanced.

I personally don't think swarming is something we should try and breed out: when I get enough colonies going, I'd like it to be easy to divide the good ones up by AS. I also think (probably more controversially) that feral colonies are a GOOD thing, and although I don't intend to let any bees escape from my hives if they do escape (and they were fit and varroa tolerant) they would need to survive by swarming when they do well.

FG
 

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