One of my flow frames swarmed this spring, despite me trying to avert it by putting the honey super on as early as I could. I just found the swarm in an evergreen about 150 feet away. I took a frame with some broad and honey from a stronger hive, and put it in the center of this 10 frame box. The branch that they were gathered on was right next to the ground, making it hard to just shake them into the new box, but I did managed to get quite a few in there. The rest are flying around like crazy trying to sort this situation out.
I was planning to leave the box there overnight and then close of the entrance early tomorrow before they get active, and move the whole box back up the hill by my other flow frames. Is that the right thing to do, or should I plan on hauling them off site to re-orientate themselves? The second option would be a bigger headache because of my schedule tomorrow, but I will do that if it’s the only option. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
Thanks, but I might not have been too clear on my dilemma. I need to move the brood box. It’s on the edge of my driveway. Should I just put it wherever I want, or moving it away so they can reorient themselves.
There are some differences of opinion about how to best do this. If you can move it incrementally (by no more than 3 feet per day) then that will work but will take a while.
If you want to move it in one go, then the “best” way would be to close it up at night and move it 2-3 MILES away then repeat the process to move it back to it’s desired location.
If those options are impractical then a compromise would be to close it up at night and move it to where you want it, then open it up, but make sure you place twigs or branches, or some thing to make the entrance look very very different to the bees, which will encourage them to re-orient.
You might find some bees gathering at the old location, but hopefully these are not very numerous.
Thanks. That’s pretty much what I did. I moved the box away from the evergreen and placed some branches in front of the entrance. As expected, there were a handful of bees that continued to linger at the evergreen, but everyone else considers the brood box their new home. And I must say, catching my first swarm, or rather scooping handfuls of bees into a bunch of empty frames, and seeing them accept it as home is pretty remarkable. I’ll be curious to check on them in a couple of weeks to see how they’re getting along.