Tale of the swarm LOL.

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by alleyyooper, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Got a call Wednesday June 14 there was a swarm in a tree in a ladies back yard. I gathered my equipment and drove the 40 minutes thur rush hour morning traffic.
    When I got to the ladies house she took me out back to see the swarm, pineapple sized hanging on a flowering crab tree. I went to get my catch bucket from the truck. The lady shouted that they were starting to move around a lot. I ran the rest of the way to the truck grabed the bucket and syrup sprayer. I got back behind the house just in time to see them clear the house roof heading north.

    The next day the 15, I recieved a call about 12:00 the swarm had been found across the street in an apple tree. Again I gathered my gear for the catch.

    The swarm.
    [​IMG]

    Straglers.
    [​IMG]

    I gathered most of them in my catch bucket then dumped them in a 10 frame hive with 2 frames of honey and 5 frames of drawn comb and 5 of foundation. We also saw the queen as we did that.
    I took them home set them up in our back yard bee yard and gave them a small upper entrance and a gallon of syrup. Friday evening I opened the bottom entrance upo and removed the flashing from the SBB for ventilation.
    They were there Saturday morning as I went by with my dogs on our morning walk.
    This morning Sunday the 18th those buggers had bugged out it appeard. The hive was totally empty.
    I have heard of them not staying in a hive but this the first time for me.
    HUMMMMMMMMM got to re think how I handle a swarm. cage the queen with a push in cage for about 5 days may be a good place to start.

    :D Al
     
  2. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

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    Dwelling in the state of Confusion -
    :rolleyes:

    Oh yeah.....reminds me of the "good ole days"......

    Had a swarm call of a similar nature. Parked the vehicle out front in the ladys' driveway and followed her thru the breezeway into her backyard to see a nice 5-7 # swarm hanging from a lower branch maybe 6 feet off the ground!
    An "easy" swarm to bag I thought......turned around and walked back to the truck; picked up the hive body already made up and walked back into the backyard........only to discover in the 30-40 seconds that it had taken to complete the roundtrip.....NOTHING, NADA, ZIP!!! I actually considered for a moment or two....that I had walked into the WRONG backyard.....seeing as how most of the houses in the neighborhood were identical; having been built by the same developer......to this day, I have never understood how a swarm could take off and ALL of the members be gone in such a short span of time! :shrug: Oh well.....easy come......easy go
     

  3. beaglady

    beaglady Well-Known Member

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    I've only ever caught a couple swarms, but I use the same trick with them as I do with any new colony til they are extablished. Put a queen excluder under the brood box, so that the workers can come and go, but the queen can't. Then once she's settled and laying, just slip it out.
     
  4. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    beaglady...that is ingenius. I have never heard of that before, but what a simply wonderful idea!
     
  5. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    I second John on that idea. I guess I'll have to get a couple.
    :shrug: But if the queen is slimed down to swarm is she still too big for the excruder?

    P.S. I found where the swarm went. We had a bee tree in the back yard that didn't make it thru last winter. Yesterday Kare said we should look at the bee tree, Lo and behold there were a bunch of yellow gals doing their orention flight in front of the entrance.

    :D Al