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Swarm in bushes

 
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KBCrafter
House Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2010
Posts: 20
Location: Brittany, France

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 1:07 pm    Post subject: Swarm in bushes Reply with quote

Hi I have a swarm that landed in the bushes in my field, they have been there for 2 days now, because it looked like rain and they were still there when it went dark, I put a sheet over the swarm, we are now going into day 3 and they are still there, there are a lot of bees flying, but not the main swarm, I have no spare hives or nuc boxes, what do I do??
I am in Brittany France.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hedges and bushes always feel a lot more work to me than when they are on the end of a branch that I can just snip off. Usually I end up cutting off lots of bits of bush/hedge and shaking them nto the box. Once I am sure I have the main bunch including the queen I turn box upside down on top of a sheet and wait till dusk for all the bees to climb in, take them to whichever hive I intend to put them in and then put them in. If they have been there a few days I would consider feeding if it looks like rain for a few days. Also when a swarm has been somewhere a few days and not found a new home they are a bit more inclined to be tetchy than when they have jsut swarmed.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pop out and buy a plastic planter or a terracotta one if you can afford it and put some top bars on it or even a piece of plywood. Anything is better than leaving them out in the open for days, especially if it is raining.

I have found that a cardboard box rubbed with melted broodcomb placed over the swarm in a hedge and then gently smoking them up into it works. Make sure the box is secure and can't be blown away. A bungie cord hooked over it and into the hedge is good and a bit of plastic sheeting over the top to keep the rain off if the weather is wet. Then, once they are clustered in the evening, drop them into the planter, making sure they have some means of entrance/exit and leave them to it.

I just bought a cheap terracotta planter for £5 in Aldi as a standby for this sort of situation. You can always build another hive in the meantime or find someone who has a hive and wants them. It's very sad to just leave them.

As said, they will probably need a bit of feeding if they have been there a few days. Good luck and I hope you are able to rescue them.

Best wishes

Barbara
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KBCrafter
House Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2010
Posts: 20
Location: Brittany, France

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Thank you, sorted Reply with quote

How about this! I managed to find a local French Bee keeper, he came to look at the ones in the bushes and while he was looking another swarm arrived, a huge prime swarm too, that one settled high in the branches of a sweet chestnut tree. Some one close by has lost 2 hives of bees.

My French friend has just left with 2 new colonies, a very happy chappy.

And how interesting watching him collect the bees, major lesson for me.

Thank you for the helpful replies. Smile
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear that they found a home.

You do realise that there will still be plenty of bees left in the hives that have swarmed. Your comment about "someone close by having lost 2 hives of bees" suggests that you think the bees have absconded, when in fact they have, more or less, just given birth.

Swarm catching is always interesting to watch as no 2 swarms are the same. It's great that you benefitted from it as a learning experience.
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