Just got my first swarm HELLPPPPP

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New Bee
Apr 13, 2009
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SE London
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Hi everyone, love the forum and have been lurking for some time.
got a huge swarm delivered by local club officer on Weds evening and after about 24 hours and much persuasion they all eventually made their way into my new hive (national).
It is all fresh foundation on new frames etc.
Fed them the next day with syrup in a contact feeder and like a bloody fool spilt a load around the hive. Cleaned it up with a hose but not before the air was busy with bees coming to see what was going on.
Managed to put reduced entrance block on and have switched to a rapid feeder to keep things a bit cleaner etc.
Still have a lot of bees hovering around the hive though and many going in and out all day.
My question is this, will they be my bees back from foraging etc? or robbing bees that were initially attracted to the spilt syrup?
I dont think any comb has been drawn yet so was under the impression that all my bees would be occupied building comb and not foraging etc. am i wrong in assuming this?
Today is day 3 and still huge activity around the hive and the 1 litre rapid feeder needs topping up at least twice a day!!!
Should I just let well alone? Getting worried all the syrup is being eaten by robbers and not my bees, as my bees seem very lethargic etc.
All help gratefully accepted.
many thanks in advance.
can you be sure they are robbing bees , differant colour etc one litre a day should be more than enough take the entrance hole down to 30 mm by 9mm and shorten the food supply , the robbers should go else where also a little trick i learnt years ago if you want to mask the smell of a particular hive or because you have just spilt sugar syrup everywhere, are you ready for this top secret potion

shake n vac the grass around the hive
yep thats shake n vac the area around the hive the rain will wash it away so might need doing several times but it looses the smell the robber follow at times
Great tip! I'm going to buy some Shake 'n' Vac!


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Why the reduced entrance?

Let them fly and ventilate.

How big was the swarm? Volume of a football? Volume of 4 tennis balls? If the former I think PH is right, if the latter, I would do like you.
Very large, more basketball sized than football
(poss larger), i have mesh floor, so is this ventilation enough?

thanks again for the help
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I reckon you hosed it down enough - do again about 10pm tonight if unsure - don't nudge the hive - they don't like being disturbed at night - then chill out - a swarm that big will be a busy colony - getting orientated etc - let them work - they are big enough to defend!!
Sit and watch them work - or do something else for a while - new bee keepers are notoriously worriers. They havent got this far in evolution without coping.

Just us messing up with importing varroa that screwed thing up!!
Think about treating them for that in a weeks time- after they are established- much more important:toetap05:
Thanks to all.
I think they are holding their own etc.
Still taking 2 litres of syrup a day!!!

Will look in brood box after a week to check for signs of laying etc and if comb is all drawn out will stop feeding them. does this sound ok?
I would send a sample of 30 bees to someone who could test them for Nosema. If they had you could treat with thymol based thick syrup before you need supers. I noticed with my hives that the bees with Nosema seem to be less industrious, slower to build up the colony than bees with no Nosema. I must stress its my own observation, but it has proved me right.


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