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Saving a Swarm

 
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blossom
Guard Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2010
Posts: 66
Location: France

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:12 pm    Post subject: Saving a Swarm Reply with quote

I had a colony issue a cast on Tuesday about 2pm. It clustered onto a nearby young tree... and has stayed there! I was prepared for them to 'go wild' but they seem to be staying! The weather turned sour yesterday evening so I rigged up a plastic 'tent' over them and was glad that I did as we had thunderous rain during the night. They are still there and the temp is 13C. Storms are forecast for tonight.

Are they in danger of dying?

If so, I have a HTBH that's got a divider half-way along it - one side full of the colony that issued the swarm (and need a few more bars) and the other side empty. I was thinking that I could hive them into the empty bit but will that give me problems? If I made another HTBH would I be able to transfer them into it? I need to move fast.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, yes they are in danger of not making it in my view.

I would either put them into the other end of the TBH ideally with 2 followers between and at least 1 empty bar, to create a "no mans land" between the colonies or drop them into a plastic planter or other suitable box and put top bars on and start building a new hive.

It will take a while for the new queen in the existing colony to mate and start laying, so they will not need any further expansion for a couple of weeks which will give you a bit of breathing space to construct your new hive.

The cast may need a bit of feeding if it continues to be cold and wet.

Regards

Barbara
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blossom
Guard Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2010
Posts: 66
Location: France

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Barbara. I had a vague memory of the planter idea. It would be a better idea as I could put it in the new location whilst making the new one, then presumably (correct me if I'm wrong) just lift the new combs into the new hive and away we go. Do you have any links to photos - I'm not sure how the top would seal off on a planter?

Off to look for something suitable...
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can either put top bars all the way across the top and drill a hole in the side or not completely cover the top with top bars and leave a gap for them to enter and then place a piece of ply over the top with a brick on top to keep the wet out. I prefer to have the entry hole in the side near the bottom and place a ramp/landing board next to it. I also find it beneficial to place some drainage holes in the bottom if there aren't any, as the plastic sweats and condensation pools in the bottom and hive debris falls into it and rots and it ends up a disgusting smelly mess.

Sorry I'm not very good with computers and/or cameras so I don't have a photo, but there's a picture on page 57 of The Barefoot Beekeeper if you have a copy.

Good luck with them

Barbara
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Blossom

Just wondering how you got on and if you managed to save them?

Regards

Barbara
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