I successfully caught a wild swarm of bees and gently dropped them into my flow hive (I had left 4 langstroth frames in the brood box then place the queen excluder on and came back today to find the bees had made heaps of honey comb and honey outside the brood box into the roof of the flow hive and attached itself to the Queen excluder and not touched 2 of the langstroth frames. I smoked them and removed the honey and the comb and took that away and addes another couple of Langstroth frames to the brood box. Have I done the right thing by my bees? They had heaps of honey in just 10 days of being in the new brood box.
You should have all the frames in your brood box, even after placing the swarm in initially. If you don’t, they will build ‘crazy comb’ to fill the gaps which will be time consuming to remove.
Unless the swarm was massive, you should probably not have had the flow box on. I would take the super and queen excluder off. Put the cover board (the flat board with a hole in the middle) on top of the brood box and cover the hole with a piece of wood so they can’t get into the roof space.
Put all 8 frames into the brood box. It would be a good idea to put a starter strip or foundation in the frames to help guide them.
The two frames that they have built in - is the comb in alignment with the frames? If so then space them apart with an empty frame between them, and that will help them build straight comb in the empty frame.
Did you manage to leave some honey in the hive or did they have to start again from scratch?
If you are in swarm season, I presume you are in Australia. It would help if you can complete your profile so that we can give you advice appropriate to your location. We have forumites all over the world here, and we all love to help each other.
I agree with @RBK and @Dunc, you need all of the frames in the brood box from the first day, and you don’t need the queen excluder or Flow super until the first brood box has fully drawn straight comb and is bursting with bees and brood/food stores (at least 80% full).
Also if you put a flat stone (like a tile) or tape some fly screen over the hole in the inner cover, they won’t build in the roof space.
Did you keep it fairly intact? If so, you could rubber band it into empty frames and give it back to the bees. It represents a lot of work and energy spent by them, so if you give it back, they will build up faster for this season. Here is a link to another post discussing how to rubber band honey comb into frames:
Swarms are wax-building machines. No colony builds comb as fast as a fresh swarm. That is why I suggested rubber banding the comb if you can, they will not build that fast again - now they have to focus on foraging and building up the colony size.
Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!
Thanks Dunc this is the best advice I will follow up on Friday, I managed to leave them about 1/3 of the honey and comb on the langstroth frames. I will do exactly as you suggested. They are really friendly bees
Yes great advice will put the comb back and use rubber bands
Thanks Dawn I will complete my profile now.’