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How and if to try to move a swarm


#1

Matt,

Last summer I purchased one of your top bar hives, and one of your Warre hives, hopefully to replace my Backyard Beehive Top Bar hives, which seem too small, and swarm frequently each summer. This last winter, of my 4 hives, two seemed healthy into the spring, one of which is a langstroth with the uppers being foundationless. This swarmed, and we were able to capture and get the swarm into the Bee Keeping Top Bar. They hopefully are making comb, I don’t want to disturb them for another few weeks.

One of the deserted BackYard top bar hives had mold in it, and I moved it closer to the house, planning on taking it down, harvesting some honey, and torching the inside, then selling on craigslist. Yesterday, it seems a swarm moved in, probably from the one healthy Backyard hive we have. I would like to get those bees, and queen of course, into the warre hive. Of course, they are quite happy with pre-built comb, and honey supplies. What do you recommend? Wait for another swarm, or try to get these bees into the Warre? If so, how?

Thanks

Daniel Pepper


#2

Daniel,

Sorry for the delayed response. If they had just moved in in the past day or so, you could brush the bees into the Warre hive, or shake them off of the combs. But at this point I’m sure they’ve got eggs/larvae and are content in the top bar hive. I’d just wait for another swarm and populate that way. Also, be sure to bait the Warre hive with lemongrass oil – maybe another swarm will move into that hive!

Best,

Matt


#3

Thanks, Matt.

I decided that it would probably be a mess to move them, they would try to reenter the Backyard hive box, and so I moved it next to the Bee Thinking Warre hive, put some wax with honey and (sad to say) sacrificed brood from cleaning up some crossbracing with brood from my one langstroth (the bottom box of which is plum branches and wild comb, 2 years old, the next box is un-enterable, and I had to do some brutal cleaning up of the 3rd box. I will put some foundationless shallow uppers on the top) into the empty Warre. Hope that makes it smell nice!

Daniel