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You collect dozens of swarms over some years, then suddenly something changes and one dies. Here's a few more thoughts on my swarm's death by nuc box: as @JamezF and @Antipodes have made clear, if a swarm is dropped in a nuc box which is then closed, and the bees cannot ventilate the space, the heat will cause vomit / dysentery (they have gorged themselves before swarming) and the bees will die in the ensuing mess.

The main obstacle to ventilation is the bees themselves. When they are dropped into the box, they cover the mesh floor and block most of the air flow. As @Antipodes stated, the nuc should then be filled with frames of foundation, not least because it gives many more surfaces for them to spread themselves over, opening up ventilation through the mesh. Also, there's a risk that wrapping a box in a sheet to contain the bees below the box or at the entrance might impede ventilation to the interior.

I'm going to use a ventilation screen to replace the lid during the collecting process in future.

Some might say I should use a skep or a box rather than a nuc box, but the bees are going to end up in a hive (probably a nuc box initially) so I'm not alone in preferring to put them straight into the nuc box they're ultimately headed for anyway.
 

jenkinsbrynmair

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Some might say I should use a skep or a box rather than a nuc box
think in general beekeepers are too obsessed with carrying on using 'traditional' kit. The wrapping everything up in a sheet (an easy way to suffocate a colony) is a classic example
 

pargyle

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You collect dozens of swarms over some years, then suddenly something changes and one dies. Here's a few more thoughts on my swarm's death by nuc box: as @JamezF and @Antipodes have made clear, if a swarm is dropped in a nuc box which is then closed, and the bees cannot ventilate the space, the heat will cause vomit / dysentery (they have gorged themselves before swarming) and the bees will die in the ensuing mess.

The main obstacle to ventilation is the bees themselves. When they are dropped into the box, they cover the mesh floor and block most of the air flow. As @Antipodes stated, the nuc should then be filled with frames of foundation, not least because it gives many more surfaces for them to spread themselves over, opening up ventilation through the mesh. Also, there's a risk that wrapping a box in a sheet to contain the bees below the box or at the entrance might impede ventilation to the interior.

I'm going to use a ventilation screen to replace the lid during the collecting process in future.

Some might say I should use a skep or a box rather than a nuc box, but the bees are going to end up in a hive (probably a nuc box initially) so I'm not alone in preferring to put them straight into the nuc box they're ultimately headed for anyway.
When I collect swarms, these days, I do use a Nuc ... but my nucs are modified Paynes (with the feeder cut out) so they will take 8 frames so big enough for most swarms.

However, having got the bees into the box initially I leave them to it to settle down. I've seen people trying to shut them in as soon as they are off the tree - big mistake - as long as you have the queen in the nuc the odds are that as dusk approaches they will all go in and as long as the entrance is open they will have enough ventilation. I don't move them until after dark and I just tape a bit of varroa mesh over the entrance if they are being moved any distance and make sure the open mesh floor has a bit of space underneath it if it needs a car journey.

I have some old net curtains that I can drape over the hives whenever I need to move bees by car.

I've never had a collected swarm die on me or any colonies that I've moved many miles by car.
 

The Poot

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Went through supers stored from last year, that have not been used this year yet. Found three out of eight, that had wax moth damage, so lost a lot of drawn comb. I will use the wax moth deterrent spray in future. Last year I had four colonies, this year only two, so some supers will not be used this year and will be stored, still wet for a second Winter.
 

nettle

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Collected my first swarm today! Not the biggest, but not tiny either. I put them in a BS nuc, propped it up on a sheet and went back for it a few hours later. It was in a tree on a street, so had to trust no one would mess with them. People are so interested when they see the bees!

20220625_114934.jpg
 

nettle

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Actually, meant to ask. I put the entrance on the QX setting to stop them from absconding straight away, but I know if she's a virgin she'll need to be getting out soon. Is there an advised amount of time to leave an excluder on in the hope they'll settle, or would it be better to up tomorrow?
 

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Collected my first swarm today! Not the biggest, but not tiny either. I put them in a BS nuc, propped it up on a sheet and went back for it a few hours later. It was in a tree on a street, so had to trust no one would mess with them. People are so interested when they see the bees!

View attachment 32574

That looks like an awkward one. How did you collect them?

James
 

nettle

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I (awkwardly) held the nuc in one hand and scooped with the other! Then I propped it up on the sheet and used a hat to scoop off as many remaining bees as possible. They were quickly fanning at the entrance, and were just walking off the hat into the hive 😍. The guy who called the beekeepers about the swarm was very impressed to see them do that!
 

madasafish

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6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
Saturday morning : Training at Association Apiary

Then pm found and marked Qs in National nucs at home. All now laying -eventually, Found and marked queens in two recently housed swarms. One big and yellowish. -unusual round here, Short of drawn National comb : using a Langstroth jumbo nuc to draw National brood foundation in a frame within a Lang Jumbo .Moved drawn comb to National nuc: refilled frame.

Started to make evening meal: message swarm near roundabout. Left tea..found swarm on pavement, hived it, phoned new owner of my unused TBH: did she want it? Yes,, but in bed with Covid.:eek: So after tea (thanks to my wife), drove and installed swarm (large) in TBH. Very well behaved - poured them into middle, with help of her husband A>, added bars, waved bye to ill beekeeper at her bedroom window.
Drove home, fell asleep on sofa.

Yoga today .Hopefully no beekeeping.:cool:

A> both wearing masks under veils and socially distancing .Warmish.
 

wessex4291

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A weekend of mixed fortune here.

This weeks inspection of the swarm we caught in May saw them doing well and we found and marked the queen. She's only the second one we have marked and it still makes me equally anxious and excited when handling her. They're over 8 frames now and doing well.

The other two full hives are going well and the feisty one seemed calmer despite the weather.

However the nuc that we split and have been struggling to get a queen mated from is showing signs of DLW so I think they're destined for shaking out next week. Given the effort that's gone in this is rather disappointing.
 

Dutchman

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Checked all 12 hives, first wanted to wait a few days till the weather improves but decided against it and was glad I did because 2 were preparing to swarm. All the hives I took honey from last month are fine, I left them plenty but those that had little yhen are now completely empty, if cold and rain continue they will need feeding which is ridiculous when there is brambles, clover and lime out there, just too cold wet and windy for them
 

JimBee463

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I moved my hive home last night (7 frames on a National, transferred from a nuc last week). Watched them doing orientation flights from early morning. Did an inspection to see how much she'd laid in the last week as she had a bit of a sparse brood pattern last week, so i'm really pleased to see it looking better today. Also watched plenty of girls coming back with pollen this afternoon, hopefully they will build up their stores over the next few weeks.

IMG_20220626_155849.jpg
 
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Inspected our 3 hives and stuck another super on one. Great flow at the minute and I have now run out of supers with 11 on 3 hives. Reckon the next one will get a brood box full of foundation which will be dead handy assuming it all gets drawn.

Also nuc’d a small swarm that had gone into a hive not used for 10 years ago by someone my wife knows . Why they chose the most disgusting place to live in I’ll never know. Full of wax moth larvae and false widow spiders
 

JamezF

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I was hoping to be setting up some kit in another new apiary site this weekend, in a (very) large garden in a nearby town. However, a neighbour of the people who live there also keeps bees and they felt they should talk to him about it first. He's said he isn't happy about the idea, so it's not going to happen. Shame, as it would have given me a site far enough from home that bees would be unlikely to find their way back here if I moved them there. I shall have to continue my search.

James
 

Do224

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I was hoping to be setting up some kit in another new apiary site this weekend, in a (very) large garden in a nearby town. However, a neighbour of the people who live there also keeps bees and they felt they should talk to him about it first. He's said he isn't happy about the idea, so it's not going to happen. Shame, as it would have given me a site far enough from home that bees would be unlikely to find their way back here if I moved them there. I shall have to continue my search.

James

What do you suppose the neighbours issue was….possible disease, risk of robbing?
 

JamezF

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What do you suppose the neighbours issue was….possible disease, risk of robbing?

No clue, to be honest, but I decided it was easier not to cause any further aggravation by trying to get deeper into it. I'm sure I'll find somewhere else. Might just take a bit longer.

James
 

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