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when to move swarm

 
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davids
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 36
Location: UK, East Sussex

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject: when to move swarm Reply with quote

Hi A swarm has gone into my old nuc box which does not have any bars in,
shall I shake them into a new TBH now or wait a few days until they settle. I don't want to lose them.

David
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the longer you leave it, the more brace comb they will build, so sooner rather than later
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davids
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 36
Location: UK, East Sussex

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks
I will move them over this evening
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davids
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 36
Location: UK, East Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I moved them over and in just a couple of days they had built about 3 inches of comb. I did not see the queen but tried to move them with less disturbance as possible.

They have now settled and are going in and out of the new TBH. They have about 7 bars in all between both follower boards.
When should I take my first look?

Thanks
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done getting them transferred.

Leave them at least 2 weeks to settle, a week longer if it's a cast swarm. At this time of year it may well be a cast, so you need to give them time for the queen to mate and start laying. Watch the entrance for pollen going in as that will tell you that they are rearing brood. A prime swarm will take pollen in after a day or two (basically as soon as there is comb for the queen to lay into) but cast swarms usually take 5-10 days.

I generally hive swarms and then leave them to it for the rest of the year, but I suppose I have the experience to assess what's going on from the activity at the entrance and therefore only open them up if it looks like there's a problem.

Eggs and young larvae are really difficult to see on pristine new comb, so if you open them up too early, you just risk damaging the fragile comb and worrying yourself that there is not a laying queen.

Good luck with them.

Barbara
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davids
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 36
Location: UK, East Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks

I will watch at the entrance and will let them do their own thing this year.
I'm going to have a look around the forum and read up on what to look for, I'm so pleased as this is the third year I have tried to catch a swarm.
Thanks
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In that case, double congratulations, especially as they moved in of their own accord!

Are these your first bees?

What type of comb guides are you using on your top bars? I think it's really important to reduce the chances of cross combing in the first instance, rather than have to deal with it later, so good comb guides are essential in my view.

Things you are looking for is pollen going in initially and focussed activity at the entrance (so coming and going with very little messing about), then orientation flights of young bees in about 5-6 weeks. There is no harm in moving the follower board and checking on their progress once in a while if you don't have an observation window and towards the end of the summer you may be wise to check on their stores situation, which will involve the movement of a couple of bars at the back and also look out for the eviction of drones then. If the bars at the back of the hive are not filled with stores by late September, then you may need to think about feeding them as this is quite a late swarm. Again, from experience I know my local forage and my main flow is late summer, so there is no excuse for my bees not to fill the larder, but things might be different in your area.

Hope that is not too conflicting from my original reply. Most new beeks can't keep their hands off, so I don't usually expect them to follow my lead literally!

Regards

Barbara
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davids
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 36
Location: UK, East Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I did have a national hive about 5 years ago, but was raided by wasps and they did not make it through the winter.

So I built a TBH. The Bars have a line of thick string that runs down the middle of the bar and has been pre dipped in wax.

Not sure if the size of the swarm makes a difference, but when I transferred them from the old Nuc box that was lying around that they swarmed into the cluster was about 6'' and I shook about 300 and walked them into the hive on a sheet. (my guesstimation)

They are definitely going in and out with purpose and I will just be checking the end of the follower board I don't want to interfere too much.

Thanks for the advice and I will be checking late summer to see if they have enough stores.

Thanks
David
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Paul Reyes
Nurse Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear it went well for you, transferring bees is not always easy.
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