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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Anderson,IN,USA
    Posts
    130

    Post

    Please forgive this newbee for asking so many questions tody, but I was wondering if swarms typically contain the old queen. I've got mixed responses from some of the senior beekeepers in the area and I'm a little confused.
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,610

    Post

    If a hive get's into swarming mode it raises a bunch of virgin queens. The FIRST swarm called the PRIMARY swarm has the old queen in it. AFTERSWARMS all contain virgin queens. Afterswarms are usually not as large as the primary swarm.

    Pretty much any swarm has either a two year or older queen or an umated virgin. Large swarms are mort likely to be the old queen, smaller swarms are more likely to be the umated virgin queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Anderson,IN,USA
    Posts
    130

    Post

    Would you wait a week or so to check the brood pattern or would you go ahead and automatically re-queen if it was the start of your season and you were positive this was a swarm not from your beeyard?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    821

    Smile

    If you interested to cache the old queen before the swarm is in the next tree go to the website from the vaporizer company in your country. The guys must be from Europe because we (the beginners here) using a similar box to prevent the queen from swarming. ItÂ’s much easier than climbing a tree to get the bees back.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,501

    Post

    >>automatically re-queen

    I would not automatically. Honeybees generally swarm because they have the urge to proppigate. Rairly is it related to the age or quality of the queen. The hives that swarm are usually the stronge healthy busting hives, and leave with the queen that has produced that strong healthy busting hive. So when I catch swarms, I let her do her thing.
    Usually when a queen comes to the end of her life, or becomes unproductive, the hive will superceed her. They rairly swarm her off.

    Ian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,610

    Post

    I'm with Ian. I don't requeen a swarm. Partly a lot of swarms are feral bees and I want the genetics. If the queen is old the bees will supercede her. If the hive turns mean or looks like it's failing, I will requeen.

    Swarms have a lot of vigor and drive. They build up remarkably well if left to themselves. Contrary to populare belief a supercedure doesn't set them back much at all and may actuall be the opposite. Someimtes they raise the new queen and both queens lay for a while before the old queen is dispatched.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    I'm with Ian and MB.

    I don't interfere so that the bees can and do superceed. I think we have enough feral bees around here so that weakened genetics should not be a concern.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I watched my new queen who had been in my OB hive for about ten weeks lay up three queen cells and take off with about seven eights of the hive beefor the queens hatched. Long story short, I had to buy another queen because the young one queens that were left failed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Anderson,IN,USA
    Posts
    130

    Big Grin

    Thank you all for the helpfull information!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    I pretty much agree with what's been said and do so likewise.
    Just remember, even if the queen is clipped
    doesn't mean she won't try to swarm.
    I've seen clipped queens plop off the bottom board and walk off into the grass.
    The swarm reassembled and then took off with a virgin(s) a few days later.

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