Hacked Off - Swarm loss

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John R 

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Totally hacked off today - twice I've had a hive of mine swarm in 4 days, first time I caught the swarm by shaking into cardboard box, then put it into a new BB with frames and foundation (a different hive size to my others so can't put drawn out frames in there)- then they went back to the old hive.
2nd time they swarmed this morning, into a high wild cherry tree - big swarm too - I cut the branch and managed to keep a pretty much intact beard of bees, which ran up nicely into the same BB as above mentioned. Great I thought, they went in really well and appeared to be staying put. went out for a bite to eat, telling the wife about my success and how chuffed I was. Got home - they'd all buggxxed off and not sure where they are in terms of back in old hive or not.
I'm out all day tomorrow, and if they are in the old hive and swarm again then that'll be that.
I've rehived swarms before, and OK sometimes they throw a cast or something - What am I doing wrong - or is it just unlucky?? I don't like doing an AS, maybe this is the price?:hairpull:
 

REDWOOD 

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Ha sorry misread what you did, you could have put a frame of brood and a QE in for a few days
 

John R 

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Hi Redwood, I couldn't put another frame of Brood in as it wouldn't fit. I've changed from having all commercial frames/hives x 3 to a new National hive, so all my other frames are too big for it. Frustrating as I agree this would be ideal.
 

enrico 

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Once you have the queen where you want her trap her in with queen excluders for a couple of days!
E
 

Edwardking 

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Hi Redwood, I couldn't put another frame of Brood in as it wouldn't fit. I've changed from having all commercial frames/hives x 3 to a new National hive, so all my other frames are too big for it. Frustrating as I agree this would be ideal.
Slight change of focus: Why would you go back from Commercials to Nationals?
 

John R 

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My Commercials aren't all a standard Commercial size, goodness knows why, I bought them 2nd hand and they were all I could afford at the time. They've been a pain for 3 years in terms of inter-changing frames etc. I've now got hold of some Red Cedar and have started making my own hives, the depth of a National is right for my cedar timber depth.
Nothing wrong with Commercials and I like the over wintering in a deeper box, but a double national should work well.
 

lorrick 

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If its any consolation I was training up in Great Yarmouth about 4 weeks ago and the wife called to say a hive had swarmed, nothing I could do but wait till I got home, Luckily they were still their and I managed to get them in a Travel Box overnight and into a new Hive the following day, 1 hive up to me, I checked my other hive no Q/C SO 3 weeks later up in Haydock and another call they've done it again, get home late afternoon and could not find a swarm anywhere so thought I had lost it, Bu"%er it. Following morning, phone call, I have found the Swarm it is down the lane, Got wife to call a nearby Beek and he graciously came around as I wasn't there again and as they walked up to the swarm, whoosh all gone not to be seen again, but there is a good ending they went back to the garden and I had another swarm (not from my hives) in the garden, so he got that one for me instead, so new hive again, this Bee Keeping gets expensive. I had checked my hives and I had no Q/Cs in them and within 4 days they had ? so as a beekeeper of 1 year and 2 weeks I have now gone from one hive to 4. I think a lot of it has been I have tried very hard not to disturb the hives when cold or wet, and in the past few months it has not let up, but I have been told that at some point you just have to get on and inspect the hive come what may. This is going to happen as I can not afford any more hives, or the wife will buy something for herself and say that makes up for the hives :)
 

John R 

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Interesting reading Lorrick, and it helps to hear of other peoples frustrations. I was away all day today and the wife said that they almost swarmed again, but it started raining and they stopped, so it seems like they went back into the original hive the other day. Tomorrows another day, so we'll see what comes, I count myself lucky really, as I have 3 strong hives anyway, and in previous years I've been struggling to get 2 strong ones established.
 

will 

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Totally hacked off today - twice I've had a hive of mine swarm in 4 days, first time I caught the swarm by shaking into cardboard box, then put it into a new BB with frames and foundation (a different hive size to my others so can't put drawn out frames in there)- then they went back to the old hive.
2nd time they swarmed this morning, into a high wild cherry tree - big swarm too - I cut the branch and managed to keep a pretty much intact beard of bees, which ran up nicely into the same BB as above mentioned. Great I thought, they went in really well and appeared to be staying put. went out for a bite to eat, telling the wife about my success and how chuffed I was. Got home - they'd all buggxxed off and not sure where they are in terms of back in old hive or not.
I'm out all day tomorrow, and if they are in the old hive and swarm again then that'll be that.
I've rehived swarms before, and OK sometimes they throw a cast or something - What am I doing wrong - or is it just unlucky?? I don't like doing an AS, maybe this is the price?:hairpull:
Did you put the swarm in a hive with an OMF I have found swarms don't like OMF for some reason, I made a crown board no holes and cut a 3inch x 10mm gap on one edge use this as the floor until they settle in and change it for an OMF after a few days
 

PaulCarroll 

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Frustrating is not the word! I inspected last Thursday and all seemed fine, some Queen Cell activity, but nothing that appeared to be really interesting them at all. I must have missed a sealed cell as on Saturday morning they swarmed and disappeared into the highest oak tree in my neighbours garden, which abuts his summer house. The tree is totally unclimbable without specialist gear, so ring my mate who does that for a living, but he tells me he is 200 miles away on a stag weekend. No way I could shake branch as they were on thickest one in the tree. All I could do is hope they might return to new hive I had in garden. On Sunday I thought it was my lucky day as they gathered over the garden and above the hive, but then decided to disappear over the trees into the woods, waving goodbye as they left. Trying to ensure cast does not occur. One has to be philisophical about these things, especially when it seems to be such a high number of swarms so early this year.
 

John R 

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Did you put the swarm in a hive with an OMF I have found swarms don't like OMF for some reason, I made a crown board no holes and cut a 3inch x 10mm gap on one edge use this as the floor until they settle in and change it for an OMF after a few days
That's interesting, as I do have an OMF, and on previous years I've rehoused them with solid floors OK. Definitely something I'll change as I have a solid floor spare that I can use till they settle in - if I get them when they swarm again of course. Thank you for this.
 

enrico 

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Frustrating is not the word! I inspected last Thursday and all seemed fine, some Queen Cell activity, but nothing that appeared to be really interesting them at all. I must have missed a sealed cell as on Saturday morning they swarmed and disappeared into the highest oak tree in my neighbours garden, which abuts his summer house. The tree is totally unclimbable without specialist gear, so ring my mate who does that for a living, but he tells me he is 200 miles away on a stag weekend. No way I could shake branch as they were on thickest one in the tree. All I could do is hope they might return to new hive I had in garden. On Sunday I thought it was my lucky day as they gathered over the garden and above the hive, but then decided to disappear over the trees into the woods, waving goodbye as they left. Trying to ensure cast does not occur. One has to be philisophical about these things, especially when it seems to be such a high number of swarms so early this year.
You win some and you lose some but none are worth taking risks over. So you've lost a swarm, you still have the original bees and you will soon have a nice new queen! Smile and be happy!
E
 

Summerslease 

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Unless you want your bees to swarm at will, some form of swarm control is a necessity. How can you 'not like' doing an artificial swarm?
 

TOBY-3652 

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:facts:
You win some and you lose some but none are worth taking risks over. So you've lost a swarm, you still have the original bees and you will soon have a nice new queen! Smile and be happy!
E
 

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