My first bees

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Joined
Mar 27, 2023
Messages
221
Reaction score
173
Location
Milton Keynes
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
4
Morning everyone 😊
I got my first swarm yesterday called out by a fellow beek ,he had started to collect them and I went over with my open mesh floor, brood box ,frames and closed cover board with some hive straps .
He had to leave as other commitments and I proceeded to collect .Got them home and positioned them in their chosen spot.Spoke to my mentor I was informed I should have waited till dusk to bring them home oh well just so excited to have some bees 🐝. Opened the entrance and left them to settle .
My wife came into the room and said your bees are flying ,"Great I replied but her tone implied something else ".They had swarmed again My what a sight they were over a neighbours garden 2 doors down in a bamboo screen it later transpired. I went knocking on a few doors to let them know to contact me if in their garden .Next step speaking to my mentor her advice same method different hive brood box floor Empty old frames I only have new foundation and go round at 8pm to collect ,I had to go to both neighbours as on both sides of fence .I collected them in box and put into brood box and cardboard box for the others to walk up .collected other side as well .I only hope I have the queen as the bamboo screen fencing was ideal bee space for them and there were bees there I was unable to collect as neighbour not wanting me to touch his screen .Mentors advice leave them till I see pollen going in because of the size of swarm I added a super using old frames without foundation do making it a brood and half .Talk about adrenaline rush .
I'm sure I will get some sound advice from you this forum is amazing ,only thing is did not check before dashing off to start 😉
John.
 

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Thank you for your comment could you explain your reason for that ,is it because you felt the colony size did not justify it .I was concerned as they swarmed from my first hive with same set up the queen might have thought not enough space and then do it again .What steps would you suggest I do now ?To remove the super and add queen excluder
Thanks John
 
Swarms are ready to build comb, to them foundation is a bonus. The shallow just creates excess dead space which is unhelpful from a thermodynamic perspective.

Things that help make them stay include a frame of open brood or, if you're sure it's a mated queen, a queen excluder between the deep and the entrance so the queen can't leave. Leaving them there until dusk is myth in my view.
 
swarmed from my first hive with same set up the queen might have thought not enough space
Unless the kit is used & smells of bee they're likely to clear off and find a better site.

Lock them in for 24 hours and once they draw comb, odds are they'll stay, esp. if the queen is mated and begins to lay.

Size of new nest is variable and is not chosen by the queen (who has no authority) but collectively.
 
Swarms are ready to build comb, to them foundation is a bonus. The shallow just creates excess dead space which is unhelpful from a thermodynamic perspective.

Things that help make them stay include a frame of open brood or, if you're sure it's a mated queen, a queen excluder between the deep and the entrance so the queen can't leave. Leaving them there until dusk is myth in my view.
That's exactly what I did when I came home this afternoon, I cut down an old queen excluder and gaffer taped it to the hive entrance .
John.
 
That's exactly what I did when I came home this afternoon, I cut down an old queen excluder and gaffer taped it to the hive entrance .
John.
For future reference you don't need to cut it down, just put the whole thing on top of the floor and below the brood area, but same effect so good job. Obviously this is a problem if the queen is a virgin though so be aware and ideally remove it after a day or two if you're unsure if she's mated, once they seem settled.
 
For future reference you don't need to cut it down, just put the whole thing on top of the floor and below the brood area, but same effect so good job. Obviously this is a problem if the queen is a virgin though so be aware and ideally remove it after a day or two if you're unsure if she's mated, once they seem settled.
That means lifting the brood box off the floor twice. I use a piece of plastic QX over the entrance to avoid that.
 
Well done.
Many can't remember the adrenaline of their first swarm.
Even the incoming one.
Thank you for your kind comment photos below show how I did the 2 hives they both have a plastic strip whereas the other a full metal one I will remove tomorrow evening
John.
 

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Some swarms have itchy feet while some are just grateful for the accommodation.
The swarmy colony might keep you on your toes next year too so it may be a prophecy.
Keep records detailing what you've done and how these reacted to you.
Capture some more next year and after assessment weed out the worst.It is much harder work but you can build an excellent apiary starting with feral bees.
 

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