How not to collect a swarm

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New Bee
May 21, 2009
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We were hoping to do an artificial swarm yesterday but unfortunately the weather was awful.

This morning the wotsits decided to swarm. The good news was they landed in our sycamore tree about 10 ft away. In fact we had three different clusters all of various sizes.


Bizarrely one of these clusters looked like a duck


As we were completely unprepared, we grabbed the first thing from the house which happened to be our daughter's collapsable laundry basket, which turned out to be an absolute gem, bearing in mind the short distance the swarm(s) had to travel, in order to reach their new homes.


This final picture doesn't show just how many bees were in the washing basket.


I know this isn't how swarm collection is supposed to be done, but it actually went surprisingly smoothly. :ack2:
Well done Beedons! Any port in a storm! You were lucky to have blue skies. Nothing but grey here all day.
Enjoyed that Beedons, it just goes to show in this hobby sometimes pretty much anything will do the job, the bees are rarely fussy.

Love the duck shot.
Did you collect all the swarms and throw them into the same hive or one hive per swarm?
Don't count your ducklings before they're hatched!

As you were talking about an artificial swarm, presumably you thought the old queen was still present? In which case it's probable there was still only one queen in the swarm, even though it was 3 clusters. If you'd left them to settle they would have joined up. Your 2 queenless "swarms" will evaporate.

Knocking off queen cells can buy you time, but you can't keep getting away with it. I would never risk it more than once per colony. Eventually they will turn worker larvae into emergency queen cells, and can easily have these sealed in 3 days, at which point a swarm is likely.
Get your swarm catcher patented before OMLET markets it :hurray:.
The colours suit their marketing strategy :).

John Wilkinson
Nicely done!

Enjoyed that - am just rescuing the kids old Ikea play tent and tunnel from the skip!
Nice result,:hurray:

Out of curiosity, did you house the duck shaped swarm in the 'duck' laundry basket:)