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What to do with a swarm

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Jeff Buzz 

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Hi I am new on here and this is my first post also quite new to bee-keeping so please bear with me.

I have just collected a swarm from one of my hive (I know I am suppose to stop them before they go and although I checked them 6 days ago I must have missed a few queen cells.)
So I have a hive that they came from and a box on the lawn 20' away with queen and her swarm.
I have checked the hive and found 3 open cells and 2 closed cells.
I have taken the open cells out and left the largest queen cell.

Can I take out the last queen cell and re unite the hive if so how is the best way to do this?
Or should I set up a new hive with the swarm.
I am Ok with both other than I will have to make a new hive today I quite fancy a top bar hive.
But would probably prefer to get the queen and her bees back in to get on with the job of making honey.

Would appreciate advise from folks who from what I have seen on the forum know a lot more about bee keeping than I do.

Many thanks

Jeff
 

Heather 

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If you are sure that the new queen hasnt emerged then I am sure it is ok to remove all the cells and reunite them. But have to ask - how did you miss so many queen cells- 1 I can understand - but 5/6 - Oh Boy -:laughing-smiley-014

Good luck with the top bar when it gets going.
 

Jeff Buzz 

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Hi Heather thanks for the advise how did I miss them...as I said i am still learning and still have a way to go I guess I didn't recognise the new cell being built when I last checked it 6 days ago and they had plenty of room in the hive so was a little surprised they swarmed but another lesson learned...

So if i take out the remaining queen cell do I just put a covered board to the entrance of the hive and let them walk back in or would you recommend a different method??

Jeff
 

Heather 

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If they have only just swarmed and you are sure same hive I would personally dump all queen cells, then firmly shake the swarm back on top of the brood box. Take care as the queen is there -can you find her in the swarm and matchbox her up for 20 minutes. Then add her back to the colony when the dust settles - or before you do the shaking out, put her back in the brood box??

Good luck:cheers2:
 

burch 

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jeff why would you have so many hives if you are new to bee keeping do you not think that this is a bit silly.
 

Heather 

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Burch - with no hives- it is easy to say .... but we all know that 2 hives are sensible -even as a beginner- and it is easy to creep to 4 if they are swarmy.
Not a big jump to 6-
But yes, you are right - keep the numbers down Jeff Buzz- dont let the bees rule you (Ha Ha - says she who had crept to 20 with swarm collections and Nucs - still, selling some now -so hope to get back to 6 - Oh Lord the phone is going - a swarm -where.......who do I know in Crawley!!!)
 

Jeff Buzz 

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jeff why would you have so many hives if you are new to bee keeping do you not think that this is a bit silly.

Hi Burch

I have been keeping bees for nearly 2 years (but still consider myself a beginner)
I put my hands up I missed a queen cell or two on the last inspection I would guess it happened before to far more experienced bee keepers and it all adds to my learning and gaining experience handling bees.
I am not going to say no to a swarm when its offered me just yet.
I don't have any problem looking after 6 hives and the bees seem to be quite happy.

And thanks for your helpful advise

Jeff
 

burch 

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i currently have 3 working hives hopefully soon to be 4 im not far form you jeff and also have been keeping bees for 2 years. are yours kept in the garden
 

jon 

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If you want to unite a swarm with the colony it emerged from this is what I do.

1. Carefully remove all the queen cells and charged queen cups. If you miss a sealed one it will swarm again, probably the next day. You will have to shake bees off frames or use the smoker to move them around. Take your time over this. You will need to do this as soon as possible or bees in the swarm will reorientate to the new site. It's getting late today so crack of dawn tomorrow would be best.
2. Put a ramp up to the entrance to the hive and cover it with a sheet or cloth.
3. Tip the bees in fromt of the hive, or shake them off any frames they may be on. As Heather said, remember the queen is in there somewhere.
4 they will walk up the ramp into the hive. If they just sit there, smoke them lightly to get them moving up the ramp. Bees will move upwards looking for a dark place. You will be amazed how quickly they go in.
 
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Jeff Buzz 

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i currently have 3 working hives hopefully soon to be 4 im not far form you jeff and also have been keeping bees for 2 years. are yours kept in the garden
All in the garden at the moment but plan to send a few out next year onto some farms I have access to.
Where are you in relation to me?
 

Jeff Buzz 

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Well job done.

Checked all frames again and dusted bees on the frames with icing sugar to knock any varroa and give the bees something to busy themselves with whilst I united the swarm.

I then as Heather suggested tipped the swarm into the top of the hive with a 4" frame to sort of funnel the bees into the hive and left them to it.
They were all down in the hive within 10min or so looks like we are in business.
I would perhaps use Jons method next time this is how I usually introduce a new swarm to a hive and I quite like watching them find there way in.

Thanks for your help folks much appreciated.

Jeff
 

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