BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER > GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM.

Dissecting a Swarm

(1/5) > >>

Ben Framed:
When I reached the point of time that I knew I was going to begin beekeeping I studied all the good stuff about the subject that I could find. Videos, beemaster, etc. (never a book though lol). After watching a video by Schawee a member here, I learned sometimes swarms have multiple queens. If I remember correctly he found a swarm with six queens in it. David in Georgia found as many as nine in one of his videos.

Later after I had caught a few swarms, I began (dissecting the swarm), if time permitted. I really like the idea of finding the extra queens. I personally have found up to 4 queens in a swarm.

I suppose everyone has their own method of catching a swarm. I will share a little of my strategy. If the swarm is to high to reach from a ladder, I will break out the bee vac and swimming pool hose along with a 16 foot pool pole extension to use to attach to the hose. (Dissect) the swarm, similar to what I will describe on the low limb dissections. Works great.
 
If I can reach the swarm, I will use an empty printing paper box. (The same type that office printing paper comes in). At the bottom, I cut a slot with a (flap door) inorder to make a place for the bees to march out of when the nuc box is set in place. I will first spray the bees with 1/1 sugar water while they are in the swarm cluster to help reduce flight before the shake. I shake the swarm into the light cardboard box and slap the top on. By placing this set up on the ground just inches from the nuc entrance of the intended new home housing nuc, I will lift open the flap, shake enough bees at the opening of the nuc box so the few that do come out will march into the nuc. It is good to have at least one frame of drawn out comb inside the nuc. Letting them settle for a few minutes I will crack open the paper box while spraying more sugar water throughout the bees. Pop the top back on and shake a few more out of the flap. All the while looking for queens headed to the nuc. After about three times of this, I start shaking bees directly from the box opening, (top area), on the ground, building a small pile of bees in front of the nuc, quickly placing the top back on, and sitting back on the ground watching intently for queen. This I will do until all the swarm has been dissected.

Also:
Have queen cages handy, a marking pen in place. Not all swarms have multiple queens. Most swarms do not have multiple queens, has been my experience, but when you have a swarm which does, its rewarding.....

If you are not at your home yard and need to travel you will need to have a box top with a screen incorporated into the top of your paper box and you can dissect at your home yard or any place that suits you. A swarm will overheat and die if precaution for ventilation is not taken. This also makes it easier to re-coat the bees with sugar water spray through the screened top when you are ready to dissect. Have fun!     

Oldbeavo:
You obviously have too much time on your hands, get some more hives. :wink:

AustinB:
Ben - thanks for sharing. I had no idea about the multiple queens. But all of the sudden I am compelled to dissect the next swarm I find, waiting with my queen cage and marker pen!  :grin:

BeeMaster2:
Austin,
I recommend that you have at least 6 queen cages.
Jim Altmiller

Ben Framed:

--- Quote from: Oldbeavo on May 11, 2021, 05:56:45 am ---You obviously have too much time on your hands, get some more hives. :wink:

--- End quote ---

 :cheesy:


--- Quote from: AustinB on May 11, 2021, 06:48:24 am ---Ben - thanks for sharing. I had no idea about the multiple queens. But all of the sudden I am compelled to dissect the next swarm I find, waiting with my queen cage and marker pen!  :grin:

--- End quote ---

Your welcome Austin


--- Quote from: sawdstmakr on May 11, 2021, 08:21:01 am ---Austin,
I recommend that you have at least 6 queen cages.
Jim Altmiller

--- End quote ---

I agree.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version