Our Swarm Box works!!

We love our hives and as relatively new (accidental) beekeepers, we’ve read much about those precious bees and how they swarm, especially in Spring, when Queens and Drones do what Ma Nature programmed them to do.

As an experiment we built a Swarm Box with spare wood and laced it with lemongrass oil. We’ve seen some busy buzzing bees in our front yard the last few days and kept close watch. Suddenly today we see this “beard” configuration of bees busy setting up home!

In case any veteran beekeepers are reading this, we seek advice:
When the Queen is ready & workers begin pollen hunting, what’s the best way to move them from a Top-Bar Swarm Box to a Top-Bar Hive. Is it better to have the Hive just below the Box (which is on a tree) and lower it perhaps 6″ everyday to end up sitting on the hive and then move the Bars with combs into the hive?

Swarm Box on tree

Swarm Box on tree

Or should we just move the Bars into the Hive early evening when they are inactive?

Gosh, I love those little bees … seeing them buzzing around simply makes me happy.

 

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7 responses to “Our Swarm Box works!!

  1. They are gorgeous. What an excellent idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Based upon our reading (we have no swarm catching experience) wait until they have started raising brood in the swam trap, then at dusk when the foragers are all (mostly) inside, just plug the entrance and move the entire trap to your apiary. You can either transfer the frames to the hive right away or wait until the next day. Just do not leave them sealed up for too long. Then return the trap to its location to see if you get any afterswarms.

    If your apiary is not far from the trap site and you worry about the “two feet or two miles” rule for moving colonies then put an obstacle (like a leafy branch) in front of the entrance. When the foragers can not just zoom straight out of the hive they will reorient.

    Best of luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank for your comment. It’s really appreciated. We read this too & there are some who say it works & others say no. We’re still gathering as much info as possible because the 2 mile temporary move is just beyond us. IF you happen to see/read more ways of handling this, please do comment further. 🙂

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  3. I second that. You will need to move them at least 2 miles at least for a few days (I prefer at least a week) then you could move them back if you want. If you can’t move them I would plug the entrance to the point that It might take a couple of days to clear it. I tried a branch obstacle and It didn’t work last season but it seemed like if I plugged the entrance and made them work to get out it worked better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • At 11pm last night, when all bees were in the box, we plugged the entrance & very slowly lowered it by 1ft to a screw we had installed earlier, just to see if they notice any change. So far, today, all activity seems normal. In a couple of days, we’ll lower it another 1ft. Then, it becomes more manageable heightwise ~ may move a top-bar hive just below it, instead of moving the box to the hive (since they are already familiar with the position and landmarks). Would that work?

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