Author Topic: Swarm Out of Reach  (Read 489 times)

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Offline The15thMember

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Swarm Out of Reach
« on: April 11, 2024, 12:32:57 pm »
Well my luck finally ran out (after 5 years!), and I had a hive swarm and land up too far in a tree for me to reach them with a ladder.  I'm surprised they swarmed right now, because we are having on and off rain that is due to continue all day.  It took about 10 minutes for them to even decide where to settle because of the weather.  They picked the trunk of an old dogwood about 15-20 ft. off the ground, and they aren't hanging nicely, they are spread all down the trunk trying to stay out of the weather.  I'm thinking the rain may force a decision out of them quickly, so I'm going to set up a hive sort of like a swarm trap and see if they pick it.  Any other ideas about how to get them?  I'll post a picture of where they are when/if it stops raining.
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Swarm Out of Reach
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2024, 01:16:32 pm »
Here's some pictures.






I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Swarm Out of Reach
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2024, 04:10:49 pm »
I set up one medium in the apiary, bated with dark comb and LGO, and another one on top of the buck barn, which is about 4-5 feet off the ground and a decent ways away from the bee yard.  Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll pick one of those options.  I took a look at the swarm with binoculars, but no dancing that I could see.  The outer mantle of bees is in umbrella mode, everyone stationary with their wings open, and there are no more than five scouts flying around the cluster.  The rain has really picked up again.  Poor girls, this whole endeavor was just poorly planned.  :sad:
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline iddee

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Re: Swarm Out of Reach
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2024, 07:21:32 pm »
Use a strong string or cord tied to a weight. Throw it over the branch over them. Pull a rope over with the string and then pull the box up next to them with the rope and tie it off and hope.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Swarm Out of Reach
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2024, 03:58:39 pm »
Well, we got managed to get the swarm down.  They were positioned differently this morning, with most of the cluster dangling over the ground, so my sister got out the pole saw and used that to shake them down onto a tarp, where I scooped them up into a hive.  It went pretty well, considering it was only in the low 50's F (low teens C), and partway through the process it became extremely windy and started raining.  (We've been having this weird weather for the past two days, where one minute it's storming and the next it's sunny, and we just mistimed our window a little bit.)  I'm pretty sure we got the queen, since there was a good bit of fanning at the entrance, and I'm really glad we got them down, because it was storming so badly after we went in that I think they would have been blown down from the tree.  I left the hive nearby to hopefully pick up as many stragglers as possible, since many bees were scattered around in the wind when we were knocking them down, but we did manage to get the overwhelming majority of them in the box. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Swarm Out of Reach
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2024, 02:55:45 pm »
Well they didn't stick.  Most of them were back on the tree yesterday.  While Haley and I were debating what we wanted to try next, the same hive cast another swarm.  The new swarm seemed kind of confused by the fact that there was a swarm on the tree already, and they hovered around them for a few minutes before landing right next to them.  We decided at that point to just cut to the top of the tree off and see if we could get them that way.  We staked a tarp down on the ground this time, and obviously both swarms got mixed together pretty indiscriminately when they fell down.  We managed to get most of them into a bin, but when I went and dumped the bin into a hive I had set up, a LOT of bees flew right back to the tree and perched just below where we'd made the cut.  I had a robbing screen on the hive, so I just locked in the bees that hadn't flown, and then I went into their mother queen's hive and got a frame of open brood for them.  We were going to try again to get the rest of the bees down, but they didn't settle nicely and seemed kind of agitated and were moving around on the tree a lot, so we decided to break for lunch and reassess the situation later.  Well, after lunch the swarm seemed a lot smaller, and I noticed that the hive they had issued from was fanning like crazy at the entrance, the whole apiary smelled like Nasanov pheromone.  I inspected a couple of hives, and by the time I was done, there was only a grapefruit sized clump of bees left on the tree.  Then this morning, the hive swarmed again, so I guess they just called them back to try again the next day.  I opened up the entrance on the hive that had been locked up and the bees in there didn't run for the hills when I did so, and some started orienting, so maybe there is a queen in there, or at least the brood has made enough of them stick.  We'll see.  I left a bait hive nearby to see if the swarm is interested in it, but I don't have the time to mess around with them anymore today.  Maybe tomorrow if they are still there.
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.
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Offline Eddy Honey

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Re: Swarm Out of Reach
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2024, 10:17:58 am »
You have more discipline than me: No tree is safe when it comes to catching my own swarm  :D Some days, my wife forbids me to take my "swarm walk" lol. 

Offline Zweefer

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Re: Swarm Out of Reach
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2024, 11:13:53 am »
I've just taken to bee vac with the hose on a pole for the high ones nowdays.  it truly is a great investment.  https://beevac.com/
Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
Henry David Thoreau
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