First swarm capture

Was out checking the garden last night and spotted a swarm on my wisteria frame. I was waiting for a swarm because I wanted to put them in a top bar hive without having to cut any comb. Got some stings through my suit, one got in my suit- no idea how- stung my belly.

Managed to get them in the hive, super excited! Later that night there was a massive thunderstorm and a quick heavy downpour. I guess that was one reason the bees were cranky.

Today is supposed to be super windy so the bees (hopefully) won’t have a chance to disappear on me.


Nice size swarm. A few stings are part of the game :sunglasses::honeybee:

Be careful, catching swarms is addictive….



So this evening I noticed two more swarms in my almond tree. These look like after swarms. I didn’t spot them until about 8:30pm and darkness was fast approaching. By the time I got suited up and the ladder out the bees got pretty stroppy pretty quick. So I noped it out of there and will attempt to capture them early morning.

So my question is did the bees get stroppy because night was falling?

I wanted to check on the hives today but it was cloudy with a top of 15C, which wasn’t too bad but the wind chill let me down. The weather has been all over the place since I caught my first swarm and I have been itching to see how they fare.

Morning all. I captured one swarm successfully I think but the other was a tad more difficult. There are still leftovers on the tree and the majority that I put in a hive have disappeared. I don’t know where the virgin (?) queen is or whether the bees went to the hive 3’ away.

I was wondering @JeffH , the hive these bees came from is nearly empty. Probably has about 2 frames of bees, maybe less. I knocked out all but one queen cell which is capped. Should I put these bees in a nucleus hive or just see how it goes? We don’t have shb here and I haven’t seen any evidence of wax moth.

All thoughts and opinions are welcome.

I’m not sure I’m following this, but your one hive has become three?
Can you merge the two smaller ones back together, assuming there’s only one queen between them (or make it so there’s one queen between them)?

This hive has produced 3 swarms so there isn’t very many left in the hive. I am not very good at spotting the queen so virgin queen spotting would be even harder.

Should I wait 2 weeks for the virgins to mate and start laying then pick one and recombine?

Hi Kristal, I would keep the weak colony in a brood box, on account that, with sufficient resources, you can quickly boost the population again… Baring in mind that winter is a long way away.

I’m also a bit confused: At first I thought the swarm you caught took off. Then you mention “recombine”. So it appears that you have a captured swarm, plus the colony that issued the swarms. Because I’m addicted to new queen bees, I would let each colony carry on with their new queen, provided they successfully mate.