BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Catching a Swarm by mistake!

  • share the funny, scary & the completely stupid things you've seen & heard
share the funny, scary & the completely stupid things you've seen & heard
 #3935  by Darrin
 06 Jul 2019, 14:30
So, I have a very small concern, only five colonies and I always keep a spare brood box in case one of them decides to swarm. The five are kept about half a mile away from the house in a little fenced off area where horses can't disturbe them. The spare brood box complete with floor, super, roof, stand and all frames with drawn out wax (essentially the perfect home) is kept in the back of my garage behind the landrover. You're probably way ahead of me already.
I'm happy that through regular inspections etc, my five are not ready to swarm, I've seen no signs of Queen cups and they all have plenty of room, no one appears to be making preparations to leave. Then two days go I noticed the hive behind the Land Rover suddenly has visitors, a substantial swarm has moved in and taken up residence. Now, yes there are lessons to be learnt about not keeping a fully made up hive outside and close to the house, the garage is open ended at one side so is a nice cool place to go into and the hive is perfect to start up a new colony.
The boss is annoyed because the blacksmith is coming today to shoe the horses and the bees are right beside where we need to be. So, last night she needed me to move them, I snuck out at 11pm sealed up the entrance and transported them. I am aware of the three feet, three mile rule, but was pretty stuck with no options other than to move them to where the other five colonies are. I placed a branch at the entrance in the hope of disorienting them as they came out, but no such luck, they're all back behind the landrover this morning wondering where their nice new home is.
The wife has had to cancel the blacksmith, who took 12 weeks to make this appointment, I've run out of empty hives, the bees are sat on the back wall of the garage and the roof of the Land Rover and I have no way of moving them. I could try to spray them with sugar water and give them a box to walk up into? They've probably all but abandoned the new Queen in the hive I took up last night and even if I successfully capture this lot, I'm still going to have to take them at least three miles away.
It's fair to say, my dinner is in the dog.
 #3936  by NigelP
 06 Jul 2019, 16:27
Stick hive with queen back to where it was. That should recapture most of bees. Then you are going tio have to move them, It doesn't have to be three miles 1/2 mile at a push. Stick then in your own back garden for a week or so.

I've had similar happen in the past, now I always seal entrances of any spare hives to prevent this happening