Report Swarm!

Report a swarm of bees in Willamette Valley.

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  1. I was planning on beginning beekeeping this spring, but a swarm just found me!

    What are the bare minimum items I need to collect them, how do I get then safely down from the tree and how do I keep them over winter in a new hive??

    I’d really like to help save this swarm from dying over winter, as it’s awfully late in the year for them to be swarming… Any help is greatly appreciated!!

    • Hello Lisa, 9/3/14

      I’m curious how big this swarm is. If it is pretty small, there is no way that they will make it this late in the season.

      When varroa mites became a problem, we started having a few hives that would abscond from the hive. People were picking up these swarms real late in the season. These swarms were loaded with varroa mites. I don’t know if that is the case with this one. One must wonder why they swarmed or perhaps absconded this late in the year. They should be getting ready for winter.

      IF you were to try to save them, you would need drawn comb. There is no time for them to draw foundation out, get the brood going, and store honey for the winter. It would also be nice to have some frames of honey. Otherwise they would have to store all the honey they need for the winter from sugar syrup. They need 50 to 60 lbs to get through the winter. It sounds like you may not have any bees yet, so I’m not sure where you would get the drawn comb or the honey.

      You would need a bottom board, a deep box, an inside feeder, 9 frames (preferably with drawn comb and some frames of honey), and a top board.

      To get the bees down you may need a ladder. You could cut the branch off and then shake the bees into the box. Or you could just put the box under the branch and shake the bees into the box. It would all depend on how far off the ground they are.

      If you got them in the box, them it would be time to feed them syrup and protein patties. You would have to feed them until they quit taking it. That would be when the weather gets colder. Perhaps mid October if not sooner.

      Good Luck, Rich Farrier

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