Swarm Trap Failure!

26 Jun

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This is a picture inside my third swarm trap capture. There are not a lot of bees in the picture, there were twice that many on the lid of the trap and lots more circling around in the air. You can also see that beautiful, pristine, white comb they drew out. Sweet Thing and I cut out that comb and put it in a frame using rubber bands. I put it in a hive and shook as many bees into the hive as I could. We stood and watched for an hour and most of the bees went right inside the hive just as I wanted. I peeked back inside about dark and they seemed to be just fine. I looked in the next evening and Poof! THEY WERE ALL GONE!!! Not a single bee remained. I was really POed let me tell you. That night I went online and did some research and discovered it is not uncommon for a swarm to leave a new hive so I didn’t feel as bad after that. I read some suggestions to leave the swarm in the trap long enough for the queen to lay some eggs and hatch some brood in the comb so they will have more of a reason to stay. I have a fourth swarm in a trap in Missouri I planed on bringing in this evening, but it rained right where I need to go get the trap so I will have to wait a day or two. They have been in the trap at least 12 days as of today so they should be taking care of business. I have been having a problem with my two nuc hives as well. Oh, they have filled up the two deep brood chambers really well. They are so heavy I can hardly pick them up! One of the upper frames was completely full of honey on both sides of the frame. I decided it was time to add my medium super to the hive. After one week I checked it and the bees were walking around on the frames, but they had not drawn out even a tiny bit of comb, much less stored any honey. Again I went online and did some research and got some suggestions. The simplest fix was to try removing the queen excluder and spraying the foundations with sugar water to get the bees interested in the foundation. We shall see if that works. The next step might be to separate the two deep supers and place the new medium super between them for a week. Then if they start working it, I will move it back up to the top. I hope I get this figured out soon, I want those bees to make some honey! More to come!

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4 Responses to “Swarm Trap Failure!”

  1. Pioneer Preppy June 27, 2015 at 12:57 am #

    That’s why I only use box traps with frames already in them. When I move a captured swarm I leave it in the box trap for a few days at the new location setting on top of the bottom board I will use. The bees don’t really know they have been moved until it’s too late. After about 2 or 3 days I move the frames to the new hive.

    I never use queen excluders the bees will use the supers much faster without them and before the season is over the queen almost always moves back down into the brood chambers.

    • doublebhomestead June 27, 2015 at 9:33 am #

      I don’t understand why the bees were going up in the upper super, but they weren’t doing anything but hanging out. I still have a lot to learn. It is like farming in one regard. You don’t learn much when things go well, you learn when things go bad.

      • Pioneer Preppy June 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

        More than likely heat. The bees will spread out as far as they need to to keep the temps around the larva and eggs at a steady 90 degrees if I remember right. If they have no more room inside they will move out and hang out on the outside of the hive.

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