Hi, this is my very first hive and we (thought) we had successfully transferred a swarm into the hive. Left it overnight Saturday still there a friend brought some racks with foundation / comb on them already and put them in on Sunday. Monday morning they were gone and the hive was full of ants - they had moved into the tree above. I was very sad by this. I moved the hive back to our shed to clean the ants out and since then bees have been coming and going - pretty sure they are now robbing the hive. They are still in the tree above where the hive was originally located. Any way to get them back into the hive do you think? It is really high up in the tree and hard to access this time. Any help or suggestions would be truly appreciated. Do you think they may just move back in (or not a chance).
I have to laugh! … I have a swarm doing this very thing for the last 5 days. I have put them back in the Nuc at least 5 times, I know the problem. They are queenless and agitated. Yours may have a queen but just do not like the new digs. I would suggest (if you can get them down) to put them in a new box of a different volume. I used swarm commander to entice the swarm to move in the direction of the hive until they located it but they left the next day, the only method that worked for me was a fresh frame of brood from another hive. They have settled in for the last 2 days now.
If the bees are visiting the hive I would put it back outside the shed where you would like it, If you can get a frame of brood it would help the bees to transfer to the hive from the tree.
I agree with @Rodderick and it was possibly a secondary swarm that didn’t have a queen so if the bees settle in quickly they could make a queen if the brood is young enough.
Contact a local bee keeper and he might sell you a frame of eggs with the nurse bees on it.
Thanks @Rodderick and @Peter48 - I am so new to all of this - do you think I could move the hive one last time to its final position where I want it all the time and see if they come to it (its only about 30 or 40 metres from the tree to where the hive and will remain. It had 2 frames of brood put in it Sunday, which is why I think they are now coming back and robbing it - not staying though. I have left a message for a local guy to give me a call also.
Yes, site the hive where it would be permanently. If they take to the hive now then they may well make a queen and you will be off and running and on a very steep learning curve of a very interesting hobby.
But beware, bee keeping is very, very addictive. There is a lot of benefits in having a second hive.
Thanks @Peter48 Ill move it today and see how that goes and go from there
It’s hard to say if the bees will go back into the hive after rejecting it once. In this case as well as @Rodderick’s original issue, I found the best thing to get the bees to stay put, after giving them a frame with lots of open brood is to take the hive well away from the area as soon as possible. That upsets what the scouts looking for a new home are up to. The colony will need to re-orientate to the new location which should also stop the scouts from looking for a new location.