Swarm of bees

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PDQ Mobile
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby PDQ Mobile » 30 May 2019, 4:02pm

Only some beekeepers use smoke to gather a swarm.
Usually not necessary because their honey sacs are full and they find it harder to bend and sting.
Also there is no nest to defend.
So in the swarming phase they are generally very docile. Pop 'em in a box with a bit of comb and they are happy.
Make sure you get the queen though.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 30 May 2019, 5:32pm

Bees are fantastic, wasps, not so much so.

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Mick F
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby Mick F » 31 May 2019, 9:26am

PDQ Mobile wrote:Only some beekeepers use smoke to gather a swarm.
Usually not necessary because their honey sacs are full and they find it harder to bend and sting.
Also there is no nest to defend.
So in the swarming phase they are generally very docile. Pop 'em in a box with a bit of comb and they are happy.
Make sure you get the queen though.
Thank you.
I did wonder how they did it ............. though they must have used a ladder as the swarm was ten or twelve feet up in the hazel tree.
Mick F. Cornwall

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661-Pete
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby 661-Pete » 31 May 2019, 9:35am

I'm no expert, but I thought beekeepers are sometimes reluctant to pick up a swarm from someone's garden, of unknown provenance. At least, not unless you pay them. They don't know what disease or parasites the bees may be carrying.

I still remember the elderly lady who came along to pick up a swarm on the campus, in my student days. She wore no protective clothing whatever, not even gloves. And she just scooped up all the bees with her hands and put them in a cardboard box. I reckon she knew what she was about...
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PDQ Mobile
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby PDQ Mobile » 31 May 2019, 9:53am

Mick F wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:Only some beekeepers use smoke to gather a swarm.
Usually not necessary because their honey sacs are full and they find it harder to bend and sting.
Also there is no nest to defend.
So in the swarming phase they are generally very docile. Pop 'em in a box with a bit of comb and they are happy.
Make sure you get the queen though.
Thank you.
I did wonder how they did it ............. though they must have used a ladder as the swarm was ten or twelve feet up in the hazel tree.


A pleasure.
Have you ever considered getting a couple of hives?
Bit of a sunny spot in your woods and the early Cornish climate. Diverse flora and not so much pesticide use. They could do well.
If that early prime swarm is anything to go by they do do well!
A flatpack hive complete is around £160 and easy to assemble. Local beekeepers would help with advice ans sometimes will loan equipment.
Pretty fascinating things and decent proper unadulterated honey is not only delicious but healthy and helpful for all sorts of things.
Then there's wax candles etc.
Last edited by PDQ Mobile on 31 May 2019, 9:58am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mick F
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby Mick F » 31 May 2019, 9:56am

We have enough to do!
Three cats, a parrot, and now a pet tyrannosaurus rex ............................... sorry a border collie puppy. :D
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby PDQ Mobile » 31 May 2019, 10:00am

I guess so but they are very interesting and a couple of hives don't take much time.
You would get stung sometimes though.

T'was just a thought.

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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby PDQ Mobile » 31 May 2019, 10:15am

661-Pete wrote:I'm no expert, but I thought beekeepers are sometimes reluctant to pick up a swarm from someone's garden, of unknown provenance. At least, not unless you pay them. They don't know what disease or parasites the bees may be carrying.

I still remember the elderly lady who came along to pick up a swarm on the campus, in my student days. She wore no protective clothing whatever, not even gloves. And she just scooped up all the bees with her hands and put them in a cardboard box. I reckon she knew what she was about...

Yes sounds like she did, but that is how they are when swarming. Reluctant to sting, though if one is not gentle and crush bees, then they will still sting.

Mostly beekeepers are glad of a big prime swarm. Disease is a problem of course and the imported Varroa mite has wrecked some serious havoc though slowly perhaps UK bees are learning to recognize it as an enemy.
Almost nowhere in the UK is free of it now. The Isle of Man I think and perhaps few other islands. But don't quote me.

A demonstration of the dangers of importing things unnecessarily across natural boundaries, for sure.

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RickH
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby RickH » 31 May 2019, 10:39am

Marcus Aurelius wrote:Bees are fantastic, wasps, not so much so.

BBC News: Why we should appreciate wasps
Rather than being "bothersome and pointless", they are in fact beneficial insects, keeping other pests in check.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 1 Jun 2019, 2:39pm

RickH wrote:
Marcus Aurelius wrote:Bees are fantastic, wasps, not so much so.

BBC News: Why we should appreciate wasps
Rather than being "bothersome and pointless", they are in fact beneficial insects, keeping other pests in check.


Okay I’ll let wasps go, not hornets though, Hornets can do one.

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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby Bonefishblues » 1 Jun 2019, 3:54pm

Marcus Aurelius wrote:
RickH wrote:
Marcus Aurelius wrote:Bees are fantastic, wasps, not so much so.

BBC News: Why we should appreciate wasps
Rather than being "bothersome and pointless", they are in fact beneficial insects, keeping other pests in check.


Okay I’ll let wasps go, not hornets though, Hornets can do one.

We had one inside a few days ago :shock:

landsurfer
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby landsurfer » 2 Jun 2019, 10:09am

philvantwo wrote:They use smoke to make them drowsy. No shortage of smoke down in Death Valley, Mick F is burning wood night and day!!


Thought the smoke made than angry so they started eating the honey and ignored humans nicking the rest of it ?
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Re: Swarm of bees

Postby PDQ Mobile » 2 Jun 2019, 10:26am

landsurfer wrote:
philvantwo wrote:They use smoke to make them drowsy. No shortage of smoke down in Death Valley, Mick F is burning wood night and day!!


Thought the smoke made than angry so they started eating the honey and ignored humans nicking the rest of it ?

It is a fear response.
They then fill their honey sacs with honey in case they have to flee.
They are more concerned with survival than intruders- for a while.
Demoralized is a word that has been used.
Smoke also drives them down off the honey (super) frames which helps inspection.

The European Hornet is a beneficial insect. Very peaceful unless cornered or interfered with.
The fairly recently imported Asian Hornet predates on bees. Most unwelcome.