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New Swarm left the hive


#1

I’m new at this, so bear with me. I caught a swarm the other day, got them all in a box and transported them to a new top bar hive I built. I placed them all in the hive along with the sugar water to get them going. The next morning , they were all gone. What happened??? Thanks Greywolf8021


#2

Greywolf,

Does the top bar hive in which you installed them have a screened bottom, by chance? Was it open? That’s the most common reason I see for colonies absconding like this.

Matt


#3

My hive does have a screened bottom, but I did not have it opened.


#4

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine why swarms abscond. I find it’s quite rare, but it does happen. I assume the wood is brand new and the hive has never been used? Some beekeepers swear by putting a bit of wax in the hive, or rubbing down the bars at least to make it a bit more home-like.


#5

Thanks. I’ll try that. Now I have to wait for another swarm.


#6

I live in south Texas on the edge of the desert. I got lucky just to get that swarm this time of year. I guess I’ll have to wait until next spring to try and get another swarm. From what I understand, it’s too late in the season to buy a queen and some bees because of the hot temps here. Right now it gets to 103 deg. in the late afternoon. Am I right, or can I still purchase some honey bees this time of year? If so, from who, and how much?


#7

Matt- Hi again. Just to update you, I took the bottom board off of the top bar hive. At about 1:30 pm this afternoon, I received a call from a rancher that he had a swarm in a tree near his goat pen. I geared up and got them today. They had already started comb, but I was able to still get them all. They are now in the hive and we’ll start all over again. I may have made a mistake though. When I dumped them into the hive, some large pieces of comb went with them. They are laying on the bottom screen. Will this bother the swarm, or just leave it alone. Thanks. Greywolf8021


#8

Greywolf,

The comb in the bottom shouldn’t hurt, in fact, it may help.

Matt


#9

Hi again. Just to let you know, my hive is doing great. I have had them in the top bar one week today and they are really making comb. I made a makeshift boardman feeder while waiting for the one I ordered from you. I saw your presentation on “Shark Tank” this evening. I thought it was a great presentation. I was really surprised that none of them went for your proposal. They need to realize that a lot of bees were lost this past winter from that north east blast. It’s going to take some time to replenish that area again. Some people just don’t understand the ecological balance of nature. Anyway, good luck with this business, and the new baby.