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Courtney L Neilson

A curious swarm

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Hi Everyone, 

I had an interesting experience today with a swarm and I am wondering if anyone has experienced it before and has any theories as to what happened.

I went to the location of the swarm, which was hanging in a lemon tree. It has been there since last night and I arrived around 11 am. I put the box down under the swarm and moved it into the box (with the inner cover on. The swarm then moved back up into the tree and settled. Thinking about queen pheromones I decided to chop the branch of the tree they were sitting on. Shook them into the box, closed it up (inner cover + lid) thinking I had them this time but to my amazement the entire swarm flew out of the box, past my face and flew away. I've only ever had it happen to me one other time and that was years ago. 
 

Does anyone have any theories as to why they'd just up and leave? I can only think that they just didn't like the hive, but there may be other reasons out there too.

 

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no idea why, but it is common.

after all they are only there temporally before moving to their new home.

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1 hour ago, tristan said:

no idea why, but it is common.

after all they are only there temporally before moving to their new home.

When I read about swarming it said that the swarm sends out scouts to find a decent home .

Do you think that if the scouts had found what they thought was a good home and the swarm had their heart set on it  They would not settle on someone else's choice .

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I had something similar today. Shook a swarm into a box and then shook them outside a hive to march in, which they did. The person helping me cut the branch where the remainder had clustered and shook them outside the hive entrance. Soon afterwards they started pouring out and flying around again. We realised the branch had been left too close to the hive entrance and it had confused the bees into thinking the queen was outside. We removed the branch and they all went back into the hive. 

 

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Did you have foundation in the box ?

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Timing.   They'd been there just long enough to settle negotiations on a new home, and just about ready to take off when you disturbed them.   I've had them leave from awkward spots where I couldn't remove them with the hive immediately, but once you get them in the box and removed from the site they're generally ok.

 

The most stubborn one I've had vacated the box three times over a day, and relocated to different banches in the same bamboo stand.... but after the first day I realised the hive was sitting on top of an ant's nest - when I opened it up there wasn't a square inch not covered in ants.   couldn't really blame them at that point.

 

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12 hours ago, deejaycee said:

. but after the first day I realised the hive was sitting on top of an ant's nest - when I opened it up there wasn't a square inch not covered in ants.   couldn't really blame them at that point.

 

 

Cause no one wants ants in their pants

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When we first started and were collecting a number of swarms whenever possible we cut the twiggy branches the swarm was on and put carefully into an empty bottom box then put a box of foundation frame on top, sealed it all up and took it away. It's tidier than shaking as if you do it slowly and carefully you get the whole swarm all in their cluster.

 

if we had to shake the swarm, we'd spray air freshener on the branch that we'd taken them from to disguise the queen pheromones. I think we caught 17 one year without losing any.

 

My swarm kit always had a cheap pair of secateurs, pruning saw, soft plastic brush and a can of air freshener in it.

 

 

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I would be at a loss without my air fresher.

If I ever get stung I always spray that spot , stops it hurting and stops more bees thinking something's wrong .

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59 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I would be at a loss without my air fresher.

If I ever get stung I always spray that spot , stops it hurting and stops more bees thinking something's wrong .

I find it amusing when air freshener is mentioned

Is it environmentally friendly?

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21 minutes ago, Beefriendly said:

I find it amusing when air freshener is mentioned

Is it environmentally friendly?

No idea .

I do not always look to deeply into stuff that is going to relieve my personal suffering .

Shameful I know 

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26 minutes ago, Beefriendly said:

Is it environmentally friendly?

No, the can is not recyclable.

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8 minutes ago, yesbut said:

No, the can is not recyclable.

There are environmentally friendly air freshners

 You can even DIY with essential oils

 

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1 hour ago, Beefriendly said:

There are environmentally friendly air freshners

 You can even DIY with essential oils

 

 

Thyme based essential oil. Double action.

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I have used lynx in a non aerosol bottle .

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20 hours ago, cBank said:

 

Thyme based essential oil. Double action.

Have you made your own? @cBank

 

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2 hours ago, Beefriendly said:

Have you made your own? @cBank

 

No, just thinking out loud.

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Input please on favourite air freshener, I tried 'spring' by Pams and the bee hate it ?   Maybe they just do not like choice or perhaps I use to much. 

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26 minutes ago, flash4cash said:

Input please on favourite air freshener, I tried 'spring' by Pams and the bee hate it ?   Maybe they just do not like choice or perhaps I use to much. 

Any of the Glade range seems to work here 

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I only use air freshener after catching a swarm to deter them from going back to where they were caught. I want them to hate it, so the box with their queen and lots of thickly waxed foundation frames is more desirable!

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