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I had a swarm for a short time.

Last week I had a call about a swarm and I went out there in the evening. Wowwww that was a huge swarm! Right up in the tree! It was very calm waiting for the night. Got myself my bucket with the extension and I collected it in a second. Easy as  per the book. Maybe less than a handful remained on the branch. The bucket was 30%+ full. The bees were very calm so I knew the queen is there too. I purred the bees into a 5 frames nuc box and I had to wait till the bees started to climb the frames. Like there was no room for the frames. After a couple of minutes or so I managed for fit the frames properly and I closed the box. Many bees were outside at the entry, still very calm. Meanwhile it was getting dark.

In the past I never gave a swarm frames with brood so I didn't do it this time either. Just some old combs that needed a lot of cleaning and repair. I was sure that this army of bees will sort those frames in no time. I left the box under the tree.

About 20+ hours later I went out there to give the bees an OA fumigation. All bees gone. Not even a single dead bee in the box.

The only thing that came into my mind is that this time I used a brand new nuc box made from clean ply and there was no "hive smell" for the bees. Actually the box got wet inside in  the winter and has a funny smell. A commercial beekeeper told me that he always adds a frame with brood to make sure the bees/swarm have a good reason to stay in the box.

I'm a bit disapointed because the swarm was from my hive.

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My first swarm call of the season. Pretty happy that it's the end of October (last year was in the first half of September!). This was quite a big swarm.

This is a rather large cut out from a year or so back, was another one same size at the other end of the building, the Manuka farmer mention he’d seen the “odd”bee going into the wall.. was a little s

Not my swarm collect, but this looks a great way to do it. Pongakawa Bush Road, yesterday.

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got one last week, only one we've seen this year, any way i was setting out on the grass having a feed and then the buzzing started,

oh cool a swarm, this swarm flew right into one of the boxes i had piled up waiting for swarms, just so easy

Edited by kevin moore
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Cheeky little swarm (about 3kg) collected from Tokoroa this evening. About 6m up, fortunately I have a collection net and extension pole. Still had to stand on the back of my Ute to get at it amongst all the branches.
 

B848D43B-0FE2-40F1-AE73-7CE564190020.jpeg

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Was preparing to move a split late today, and as I drove up to the site thought there was a lot of bees milling around the barberry hedge...three swarms - one medium size and two small. Shook into three boxes, but they have all decided to join with the medium size one. Thankfully.  Will go and hive shortly.

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I went through the hive this came from yesterday. There were lots of swarm cells but not one that was even close to emerging yet (3 days after collecting the swarm).

They obviously got excited and decided not to wait. That happens a bit here at this time of the year. Very difficult to completely control swarming when they up and leave well before the books say they should. As I say to hobbyists quite frequently, the bees don't read the same books we do...

Edited by Otto
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3 hours ago, Otto said:

I went through the hive this came from yesterday. There were lots of swarm cells but not one that was even close to emerging yet (3 days after collecting the swarm).

They obviously got excited and decided not to wait. That happens a bit here at this time of the year. Very difficult to completely control swarming when they up and leave well before the books say they should. As I say to hobbyists quite frequently, the bees don't read the same books we do...

Also very difficult to control swarming when every day is overcast, threatening to rain and the bees go mad at the slightest disturbance.

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My swarm control method of turning the inside of the hive into a chaotic disorganised gappy mess before I went on holiday worked a treat.  So well that someone else's bees came along and set up shop in the PMS deadout right alongside. 

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On 31/10/2020 at 6:56 PM, Otto said:

My first swarm call of the season. Pretty happy that it's the end of October (last year was in the first half of September!).

This was quite a big swarm.

SwarmDH31102020.jpg

 

 

Err, what's your definition of a 'large' swarm then @Otto - versus 'quite big'?  😀

Edited by JohnF
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1 minute ago, JohnF said:

 

 

Err, what's your definition of a 'large' swarm then @Otto - versus 'quite big'?  😀

Yeah, okay. This was large. I gave it two FD boxes of foundation to play with. Had a peek in the top this morning and the top box was pretty much all drawn and filling with nectar and pollen.

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There was a swarm on a fence post beside one of the local corporate apiarys today. I wouldn't take a swarm next to someone else's apiary anyway but I definitely wouldn't take one from next to these hives.

So far I have had very little swarming and have gone through around 200 hives this week without finding a single one raising cells. That can change with the weather so I will keep looking closely for a while yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Community service done.
Collected a swarm from a residential address on the edge of town (Putaruru).
Used extension pole and swarm catching net. They used to be available from Beequip from memory.
Nice sized swarm 10 frames worth of bees.
Once again another swarm to move out to a quarantine yard.
 

1A0CA47A-7C8D-4154-A28C-170AA7FA7418.jpeg

Edited by dansar
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12 hours ago, dansar said:

Used extension pole and swarm catching net. They used to be available from Beequip from memory.

I have at times used a very long handled swimming pool net - readily available at large hardware stores.  Ideal when standing on the back of a ute or truck deck.  

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Got a message from a friend yesterday saying there was a huge wasp nest in their hedge about the size of a small side table and had rung a mate to come and spray it. Managed to extract enough information to decide it must be a swarm and headed out there - sure enough - it was huge, at least 5 to 6 kg. It was low enough for a reasonably easy capture. Saw the queen with her green dot in the process. 

Edited by Philippa Thomas
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  • 2 weeks later...

A couple of weeks ago we had a swarm at work, so I was called, and expected to do something with it. So I banged on some steel beams and watched them land about 4 metres up a Kanuka bush, I had a go at getting them at smoko but ran out of time, then in the evening after work, but again with no luck.

So I turned up extra early the next day and still couldn't get them down, I resisted the temptation at morning smoko and left them to it, they were still there at lunchtime, so after a quick bite to eat I went out armed with a saw and proceeded to prune a PNCC tree without permission.

The plan was to slowly cut the branch so as to gently lower the swarm to within easy reach, it didn't go to plan, crack, and the branch came down fast, hitting our boundary fence and dislodging the bees.

The bees then decided to be more cooperative and settle at head height, but by then it was 12:30, so back to work, I could see them from my cnc machine and would check on them periodically, they were quiet calm until around 2:30 when on one of my visits, I noticed 2 bees doing what was best described as the waggle dance on the clustered bees, so I decided to act fast and drop the bees into a cardboard box. 

They stayed in the box until I took them home.

I am assuming that the waggle dance I saw, was the cluster getting given directions to there new home.       

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10 minutes ago, Russ said:

I am assuming that the waggle dance I saw, was the cluster getting given directions to there new home.  

mm or might have been giving directions of a place to go for afternoon tea, or it might have been GPS co-ord for the CNC machine where the guy is that keeps hassling them :).

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