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help with moving swarm to new hive box

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briligg 

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hi all, glad to be here the first time.

we had a wild hive on our property moved to a hive box here in mexico the other day. we don't know anything about beekeeping, but we wanted to save the hive, instead of destroy it. and the honey! it was excellent, about 8 litres of it. That got us enthused.

the hive split in two 2 days later. we managed to get the swarm into another box, but it was a box in bad shape, the beekeeper we used didn't have anything else to hand (he is just a small-scale keeper). the next day the new division had swarmed again, and again we got them back in a hive box, this time a new one we had gotten, that was 2 boxes put together, because we are interested in trying the 'natural' beekeeping method we've read about.

but the bees swarmed again today. we can put them back in the box, but something clearly seems to be wrong. we provided them with honey to attract them, and they started building a bit of comb, but now they are back in the tree.

what should we do? we really appreciate any and all help. i'll go read around in the site to see if there is info elsewhere, but we have a sense of urgency now, so i wanted to go ahead and post before doing that. thanks all.
 

justme 

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hi. 1st of all Uk or mexico? Possibly several castes followed the prime swarm, did u see any queen cells when u 1st hived them? Or may have had several virgin queens in there. Did u leave the bees any/much honey/stores when u took yours? Have u much of a 'flow' (nectar, bees landing heavily at the entrance) and/or pollen (coloured coating on rear legs) at the moment? They could be starving. Did the last caste to leave take all the bees? Ie any left in the hive? Possibly trying to escape from varroa or something u treated hive with. Separate issue,Whose honey did u use to attract them? Should never feed honey from unknown source, too much chance of disease transfer.
 

briligg 

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We are in Mexico. A local beekeeper did the hive transfer, and he explained precious little. There is lots of traffic in and out of the old hive, and bees are arriving well covered with pollen. There are lots of fruit trees on our lot, and right now the bees are feeding a lot on fallen pears that have started to rot - we leave a few around for them. We have also left out the honey we got from them each day. Not a lot, maybe a couple of ounces, which they finish off. We haven't opened up the hive box the beekeeper sold us to check on their honey stores, but those bees are staying put. It's the ones who split off who keep swarming. My husband put honey in the new box for them, i don't know how much. He is working on our lot, where we are building a new house, i am at our current home and haven't been on the site for a few days.
 

briligg 

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as far as queen cells, my husband is learning what he can as fast as he can, but this is a totally new, off-the-cuff venture for us. the beekeeper didn't explain anything about queens or queen cells or anything. we don't even know where they are.
 

briligg 

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my husband looked at a spanish forum while he was home for lunch, and read that putting a section of brood comb in the new hive box might help. he plans to put one in the new box, and then put the swarm back in this afternoon. he also wonders about using pheromones, but in any case we can't get anything like that unless we go to the city, an hour from here. he's even wondered about simply stopping up the entrance of the hive box during the time of day when they have twice now abandoned it - between 11 a.m. and noon.
 

Midland Beek 

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but the bees swarmed again today. we can put them back in the box, but something clearly seems to be wrong. we provided them with honey to attract them, and they started building a bit of comb, but now they are back in the tree.
I think you might have got this all wrong. The bees haven't been swarming at all.

By wild colony, do you mean a natural bee nest hanging from the branch of a tree or something? And this is what the beekeeper transferred into a beehive?

If I have read this right, the bees in the beehive have not swarmed. They have just returned to the site of their 'home'. Bees are not clever enough to realize that their home has been moved - they are just returning to the old site. Younger bees in a bee colonony have never flown and have never left their nest, so these are the bees staying in the bee hive.

Answer: Stick the beehive as close as possibnle to the site of the original bee nest. Do not worry too much if bees cluster at the site of their old nest. As the days go by they will hopefully re-orientate to the beehive.
 

Poly Hive 

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Not going to comment on the situation as such as I have no hands on Mexican experience.

I would recommend you find a Southern American forum say Arizona? Or this may suit: http://www.beesource.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=240

I would strongly suspect the bees may be Africanised and so very prone to sting and swarm.

Good luck

PH
 

justme 

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We are in Mexico. A local beekeeper did the hive transfer, and he explained precious little. There is lots of traffic in and out of the old hive, and bees are arriving well covered with pollen. There are lots of fruit trees on our lot, and right now the bees are feeding a lot on fallen pears that have started to rot - we leave a few around for them. We have also left out the honey we got from them each day. Not a lot, maybe a couple of ounces, which they finish off. We haven't opened up the hive box the beekeeper sold us to check on their honey stores, but those bees are staying put. It's the ones who split off who keep swarming. My husband put honey in the new box for them, i don't know how much. He is working on our lot, where we are building a new house, i am at our current home and haven't been on the site for a few days.
Hi again, sorry been away from computer. Ok. i asked about location coz yours says UK, might pay to change it.
As you are indeed in Mexico then as Polyhive says, we dont really know, sorry. Also what Midland Beek says is probably correct, we normally have to move them about 3 miles if we dont want them to return home.

I dont think leaving honey out for them is a great idea, promotes robbing from other bees, wasps, hornets and whatever else you may have out there.

Also, surprised they're eating rotten pears, I think.... Wasps do that over here.

Sorry I cannot be more help. Good luck with them though.

Hopefully you'll get some more experienced people answer your questions.

Di:.)
 
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Be very aware that honey beees in Mexico are often Africanised. If you have what appear to be calm swarms the new queen can produce unmanagable little b'stards!!!!
if your swarms are casts with new queens in 6 weeks time you could have the 'spawn of satan'
 

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