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Swarm capture

 
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thesolarsailor
New Bee


Joined: 15 Sep 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Oregon USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:45 pm    Post subject: Swarm capture Reply with quote

Hi All,

I spent the winter reading every post on this forum (not quite actually), Bush's entire site as well as a lot of other material. I built my Top Bar Hive from recycled western red cedar and have had it sitting in the yard since February.
I sat on the fence trying to decide if I wanted to buy a package or wait for swarm season, well swarm season is upon us in the western USA.
Yesterday morning when I arrived at work the safety officer was in a huff about a number of reports about a bee swarm near the entrance of a building. I went to check on it and it was a volleyball sized swarm about head height off the ground. I assured everyone that swarming bees are very docile and headed home to get my hive. I placed my hive under the swarm, trimmed all of the excess foliage off of the branch around the swarm, bent the branch down until it was just over the open hive then suddenly the branch broke and about 2/3 of the swarm ended up in the box and the rest on the ground. I got 8 bars on the hive and left the last bar space open. it took about 2 hours but all of the girls climbed into the box and I closed it up. Went back after dark and moved it onto an adjacent empty lot we have that is covered in blackberry blossoms right now and is adjacent to a 400 acre wetland preserve.
2 of my co workers watched me with cameras ready for when "they sting the sh1t out of you".
Overall I consider it a great success and I owe it all to the info on this site. I never would have attempted it before reading all the great info and advise from across the world.
I also have the support of a coworker who is an experienced beekeeper who built her first top bar this winter also.
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B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome and congratulations on hiving your first swarm, it is such a wonderful experience and the best introduction to bees (in my opinion)! I too spent winter reading A LOT of the old posts on this forum. There is a goldmine of helpful ideas and alternative viewpoints tucked away here.

Look forward to hearing more of your bee-keeping journey as it unfolds. Best of luck,

Kim
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mannanin
Scout Bee


Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Essex. UK.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a great story and in my opinion without doubt the best way to get a hive started. Not sure what price packages are in the US, but I guess you saved a few bucks and provided a public service at the same time. You wont go far wrong sticking with the advice of Michael Bush, I just love his KISS approach to looking after bees. Good luck.
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Paul Milne
House Bee


Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Dunbar, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done for keeping a cool head and being well prepared ahead of time. Hope the girls like their new home Smile
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CeeBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done. A month into proper bee-keeping, I've enjoyed starting from a couple of swarms. Like you, I learned a lot last year and over winter, and by this spring had two empty top-bar hives ready and waiting. The hives have quickly gone from being a slightly worrying addition to the garden to just another part of the wildlife-scene (with the birds in their nestboxes, amphibians in the pond, and everything else).

My two have quite different characteristics - different coloured bees; different shaped comb; one looks to be a 'prime' and the other a 'cast' swarm. Both fortunately have accurately built comb on the bars. Just realising that a swarm with a virgin queen has quite a wait before they can expect any new bees - some won't even survive to see any, so a good thing they've laid down some stores of honey and pollen for when the new ones start to emerge.

Anyway, well done again - lert us know how they progress.
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thesolarsailor
New Bee


Joined: 15 Sep 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Oregon USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One week in now, I read the At The Hive Entrance PDF this weekend and sat and watched while eating lunch today.
I noticed:
2 distinctly colored bees coming and going, one group with wide yellow bands and narrow black ones and the others are very dark with very wide black bands and very little yellow. This tells me I have a naturally mated queen.
The darker ones appeared to be strictly carrying nectar, every 4th - 5th yellow one had large pollen sacks.
This tells me if Nectar and pollen are going in they must be building comb, be queen right and have accepted their new home.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice work
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Paul Reyes
Nurse Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its always great to see people getting started with beekeeping, its a very wonderful hobby.
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