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Two swarms same day maybe


Swarm(s) arrived today at my bait hives, one a 8 frame deep, the other a 5 frame nuc.

It appears to be a larger swarm in the nuc (more activity at entrance) and a smaller one in the 8 frame langstroth (or maybe scouts), will check in morning to see entrance activity.

I have not included any frames (foundationless) in the bait hives, should I wait for the bees to get established then use the rubber band method or add frames first thing tomorrow, asking as concerned they will abscond.

My hive swarmed on the 6th Oct, caught and relocated to sons house which then absconded next day, hive then issued a second swarm 19th Oct which I again caught, twice and it also absconded so I’m a bit reluctant to disturb the bait hives too soon. Any thoughts?


I think the best move would be to put the frames in the hive before you put them out to attract a swarm. Disturbing them the day they moved in might make them feel unwelcome, Can you not put another hive with frames fitted next to the hives to try and get the scout bees happy to move the colony.


I agree my bait hives have majority foundationless frames and then a frame or two of foundation. If they have moved in with out frames I would leave them for a week and then do as you say place the comb in foundationless frames. It could be a lot though as they are wax drawing machines.

I leave mine to settle for a week or so too.



thanks @Peter48 I read somewhere there are two trains of thought, no frames as the scouts measure the internal dimensions by walking and flying around and include frames to stop crazy comb building. I have done a cutout before so I may let them get some brood happening first and then cut them out and place frames in my 2nd flow hive, all oiled up and waiting to go.


Thanks @AdamMaskew I will leave a week also, I will put some frames in the 8 frame langstroth tomorrow as I think it is only scouts entering and leaving.


The measurement by the scouts is why I went with mostly foundationless frames and because it makes it easy for me.


Didn’t you follow JeffH’s method with a frame of young brood to keep them stay? I used 4 foundationless and added a frame of brood in the centre straight away when I took my swarm home … They drawn out 2 side frames within 5 days when I checked on eggs… I guess it is not easier to tie them down with rubber bands later on than give them a frame of brood instead!


They do, so the answer is to put one frame with a starter strip next to one wall then a frame of foundation. The bees will draw those first and give you a few days to let them settle before you put the rest of the frames in. You’ll be moving the hives to your apiary as soon as it gets dark too.



It’s a learning curse so don’t panic ! I always use frames so they get established without intervention (undistinguished) … After the fact could get interesting as the bees get busy n creative FAST :dash:!

I personally like a blend of partly drawn comb if I have extra but do what you can cautiously n soon !

Good luck n enjoy :wink:,



I have never used a frame f brood to encourage a swarm to stay- and out of 25 swarms I have caught only one flew away- and it just happened to be my first attempt. I think in that case it was just a MEGA swarm and didn’t like the size of the box. I have used a frame of brood to catch a swarm that was deep inside an overgrown lemon tree. I used the frame of brood to encourage them out of the tree onto the frame and then and into my box.

@liteceeper if it was me- I would probably be tempted to get those frames into the boxes- at least a few frames- as a cut out will be more tricky. After a week the comb will all be attached to the roof and just taking off the lid might cause some of it to collapse. If you can slip in a few frames now at least you will have some good fully drawn frames to put alongside your rubber banded ones. If you do full cut outs- you will need more boxes to put the bees into probably as you won’t be able to cut it out and put it back in easily.
BTW- I am not that surprised you caught two- as adelaide is currently known as SWARM CITY

Also keep an eye on the five frame one- as if that swarm was huge they may soon pack that box completely. If there is hot weather and they beard heavily- you may need to transfer them to a larger box quickly. I currently have a very large swarm in a five frame- it’s been there for around 4 days. Later today i am going to transfer it as the bees nside must be filling the entire box and may get into trouble if there is a hot spell.


@Semaphore I placed all 5 frames into the nuc first thing this morning, didn’t seem to upset them to much.
Lots of orientation flights in front of hive , they where still there when I got home tonight.

working on a decking project today and a swarm passed through the yard I was at, last seen heading south.

No, I only have the one hive which swarmed twice and I used one frame to try keep the second swarm but after catching it a couple of times it absconded and the capped brood died and I did not want to weaken the hive anymore than it is.


last year my brother saw one on the wing- I told him to follow it- he did and saw it land- I went and nabbed it later. They don’t often go very far. Heard a funny story the other day, I asked someone if they had ever seen a swarm and they said yes: they were on a boat at sea and one came and landed on the mast of the boat!


Too much jumping over fences to chase that swarm. Police choppers would be after me, some type of crazy person on the loose. :crazy_face:


The police could only interpret it as another escapee from the funny farm and not logically think “Yet another bee keeper chasing after more bees”, sure they don’t understand nothing stops a bee keeper, even barbed wire fences. :laughing: