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Weighing a captured bee swarm


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I got a call out yesterday and even thou i got there within 10 min of the call the bees did a runner (or flyby) and scarperd. 

 

So today was a bit more successful.  

Nice 1.5 kg swarm 3 m up a camellia trees.  I dod not get that completed when I got a call from the other side of the city.  This one was a bit more difficult as it was 6 m up a pittosporum tree.  Deeply clustered around several brunches.  Anyway, several attempts with my extension pole and bucket I collected 7 kg of bees.  This is the biggest swarm that I have ever collected.  Someone lost a whole hive by my estimates.  This is close to 70000 bees.  It is now in 2 brood boxes and I expect it to fill another box in 2 days.

Unfortunately, I could not photograph it as it was too high and buried with the tree.

 

1.5 kg swarm

 

20201026_152747.jpg

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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Ok.  So I have split this little section off from the Swarm season thread specially for @Maggie James Here is a couple of photos of my capture buckets and the ventilated lids that I made to keep

I got a call out yesterday and even thou i got there within 10 min of the call the bees did a runner (or flyby) and scarperd.    So today was a bit more successful.   Nice 1.5 kg swarm

I think that overall most swarms are collected by those who started as hobbyist beeks as we are the ones contacted - often though bee groups about local swarms, so we have all developed systems to mak

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11 hours ago, Maggie James said:

Hi Trev - Please show a pic of how u weigh em!?  Not taken' the mickey.  Cheers

Pretty simple.

I drop the swarms into a 20lt bucket (with vents) and a wooden/mesh lid.  

Using a simple luggage scale (digital) I got the tare weight of the bucket etc empty.

When I have collected the swarm, I also have a vacuum unit (see my video)   attached.

Then I weight everything and it gives me a pretty good idea of what size hive to put the swarms into.  

1 to 1.5 kg 5 frames NUC.  

2 to 3 kg. 10 frame.

4 kg plus 20 frames.  After 3 or 4 days I will reassess the available space they have drawn.

 

All swarms go onto foundation.

I will take some photos tomorrow and upload them.

 

 

 

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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Ok.  So I have split this little section off from the Swarm season thread specially for @Maggie James

Here is a couple of photos of my capture buckets and the ventilated lids that I made to keep the swarms alive.

The wooden lids are made with 2 layers of 12mm ply with a sandwich of aluminium flyscreen to allow plenty of air into the capture bucket.  This allows air for breathing and prevents the bees panicking and stressing themselves to death.

The tare weight of the bucket and lid is written on the  wooden lids. 

1 kg of bees equals about 9000 bees (according to Mr Google).  And because I am lazy and not very scientific I say that 1 kg = 10000 bees.  Or close enough.

 

 

This shows the lid on a bucket with my luggage scales.

 

20201027_114157.thumb.jpg.022652721d280974db8c89824b32b024.jpg

 

This is the triton lid that I use with the vacuum unit.

 

20201027_114204.thumb.jpg.7820cb9c98389e27b8ea707c36669468.jpg

 

Both capture buckets. Also shows the vents lower in the buckets to allow for good air flow.

 

20201027_114215.thumb.jpg.cefefd5bcb50aea043056fd61461f5ae.jpg

 

My simple construction of my ventilated lids. (upside down)

 

20201027_122847.thumb.jpg.7c673f265caf6379b626ac3767eb76a0.jpg

 

 

 

 

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I think that overall most swarms are collected by those who started as hobbyist beeks as we are the ones contacted - often though bee groups about local swarms, so we have all developed systems to make it easier - whereas for commercials only catch their own swarms, so can immediately load into own gear without quarantining. I use large styrene bins with mesh panels for ventilation - they are light and large enough to fit around pretty much every swarm - providing they are within reach. I use the usual 10 litre inverted water bottle with bottom cut off on extendable pole for those too high.

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