First swarm advice

Some advice please!

I caught my first swarm off a neighbors bush about 4 feet high. Looked about the side of a large cantaloupe melon, so not huge. The branch they were on looked like it had some fresh wax but I could not see if there was comb underneath the bees so I decided just put the box around the branch and cut the branch and leave it in the nuc box. Then I carefully placed 4 foundation frames around the branch. I think only 5 bees were left behind flying.

The nuc box entrance was closed for my walk home and now it is dusk. The low temperature tonight is 6°C/43°F so I put the closed nuc box inside my garage where it is 65°F currently. Should I leave them closed in until morning or put them outside and open it up now??

I have to leave town early in the morning so I don’t really have any time to get any drawn comb or brood into the box - any pointers to just get them to stay, given what I have done and my time constraints??

I was hoping they had some comb already built on the branch in there and I could just put them out in the morning and open the entrance and they would stay put? I have a round plastic turning entrance cover, should I leave it wide open or use the queen excluder size opening?

Hi Alok. I think I would leave them closed up inside for the night. The best way I know to almost guarantee that the bees stay put, is to give them a frame with mostly open brood. In the absence of a frame of brood, I think a good idea would be to take it out of the area because the scout bees might have been checking spots out before you caught the swarm, so therefore they might leave the nuc box for something they like better. Can you drop it off to a friends place while on your way to out of town in the morning?

I caught an unexpected swarm yesterday, which I was unprepared for. With little time to spare, I grabbed a frame of brood, which was mostly sealed brood. I hoped that would hold them in an empty super sitting on top of a hive roof with a lid on until this morning, when I took down a proper brood box. Before I caught the swarm, I saw a real vigorous waggle dance right in the middle of the swarm. That was what made me wonder if the bees would still be there this morning. As it turned out, they were gone. There was only robber bees eating the honey.

Bottom line: The frame of brood should have held them, however the scout had other ideas & were convincing enough to lure the swarm away from my frame of brood.

Thank you Jeff for your response.

I collected them about a kilometer (walking distance) from where they are now - I realize that is still within scouting distance but not right next door…

if I had had some time tonight before it got dark or if I had time tomorrow after the sun came up I would given them a frame of open brood.

You’re welcome Alok, I was adding to my last reply while your message came through. If you can drop it off somewhere on your way to out of town, that would be a good option I think. Otherwise you can only do what you can do.


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