Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: My hive swarmed

  1. #1
    Dzug Guest

    Arrow

    I have one hive from a year ago and two new ones. Before work each morning I walk up to them and check their sugar water levels. I wondered what all the racket was and noticed a 60' tornado of bees from my older hive. At first they settled in two distinct clusters on two seperate branches, but the soon consolidated into one HUGE cluster. If what I got in a package was three pounds, then this had to be fifteen pounds! I would have loved to grab them up, but they were near the top of a very tall, but thin tree (and I had to go to work). I left my two swarm traps out and about hoping to catch them with no luck. They were gone when I got home from work.

    It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in nature. (Gotta keep a goos attitude about this!)

    I inspected the hive two days ago and there were queen cells everywhere! Again, this is amazing. I am anxious to see what happens to this hive. I thought about buying a new queen, but what is the point? Hopefully, these bees will pick a winner.

    -Doug

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    If I were you, I'd break down all but one of those cells, in case they throw a series of after-swarms. Try to work out why they swarmed and how you could prevent it next year; it could be something you did wrong, or you could have a very swarmy strain, or it could be a bit of both. You could have prevented it for a while by going into the hive regularly and breaking down cells, but it's better to understand what's happening than frustrate the bees by working against them. I've had my own problems with swarming so I know how frustrating it is.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi Doug,

    As Robert says break down all but one or two cells. In some strains sub swarms can be a problem causing the total ruin of the parent. As for swarming did you do any of the following since I'm just across the Lake from you our timing should about the same:

    1. reverse
    2. split
    3. have supers on once you saw the first dandelion?
    4. requeen
    5.pull or draw up?
    6. demaree
    7.piggyback then recombine/ requeening at the same time

    What strain of bees?

    Do you use unlimited brood nests?

    Excluders yes/ no?

    Clay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Oh for our area. Swarming occurs the first week of June, late week of may. Ckeck the bees one each of these weeks to see if swarm control has failed.

    Clay

  5. #5
    Dzug Guest

    Post

    Thank you Robert & Clayton.

    The frustrating thing for me wasn't that they swarmed, but that they the swarm got away. It was truely an amazing thing to witness. I'm not saying that I want them to swarm, but since they did, I'm glad I got to see it.

    To answer your questions:
    1. reverse
    Yes.

    2. split
    No.

    3. have supers on once you saw the first dandelion?
    Yeah, pretty much. They were in two supers, a deep and a shallow. The hive was somewhat light in the beginning so I fed them asap. I did get an additional super on pretty early, though.

    4. requeen
    No. This is interesting. I moved last year and I brought this hive with me. They appeared to be somewhat weakened by all the moving so I got a local beekeeper to come look my hive over. He found two queens! I know what you're thinking, but I saw it too. I think the bees formed a supercedure queen and they just hadn't run into each other yet. I checked the hive a few days later and found just one queen. The population seemed to be the same. I'm relatively certain that she was a new and strong queen. The brood pattern definately improved as well.

    5.pull or draw up?
    Don't know what that means.

    6. demaree
    Again, don't know what that means.

    7.piggyback then recombine/ requeening at the same time?
    Sorry. I don't know what you're talking about.

    What strain of bees?
    This hive was a gift from an older beekeeper that I used to help. He didn't requeen and didn't think it was necessary. I'm not so sure I disagree with him. My two new hives are Italian. I can't believe how gentle they are. It's alsmost like you don't need smoke to work with them! I've heard that they're not the best strain for this climate. I'm not sure why Dadant chose this race for the Northeast, I had no choice with them.

    Do you use unlimited brood nests?
    I was taught that they will keep to the bottom two supers on their own. Will they?

    Excluders yes/ no?
    No.

  6. #6
    Dzug Guest

    Post

    Also, I haven't had a chance to work the hives since my first post. I will check them as soon as possible. If I cannot find a queen, I will eliminate all but two cells. I had nine frames in the shallow super and ten in the deep. I just recently changed the deep over to nine frames as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi Doug,

    >He found two queens!

    Yes this occurs from time to time.

    >5.pull or draw up?
    >Don't know what that means.

    It is an unlimited broodnest management technique used to expand the broodnest and decongest the brood chambers. In essence you pull two frames of capped brood up into a second or third brood chamber to bait or draw the bees up putting empty comb down. This expands the size of the "actual" brood nest instead of in terms of just boxes. So when the brood chamber(s) are full draw the bees up in this manner so they don't swarm.

    >6. demaree
    >Again, don't know what that means.

    It is an old method of artificial swarming maintaining all the bees in one hive without splitting. Get the book swarming: its control and prevention by Snelgrove, or The Hive and The Honeybee sold by Dadant which discuss the method. I could explain it in detail if you'd like.

    >7.piggyback then recombine/ requeening at >the same time?
    >Sorry. I don't know what you're talking >about.

    Using a screen board all the frames containing swarm cells in a colony are placed over the double screen board. Thus srtificially swarming the hive. A new queen is allowed to mate in the top box over the screen board. The bottom colony is supered while the old queen is allowed to keep brooding up. Keep putting swarm cells up in the top if the bees continue making them. Once a new queen is laying well. Kill the old queen putting the top box on the bottom and the other now on top (recombine). Separate with news paper if fighting is going to occur. Provide plenty of space for the queen to lay. You have kept all the bees in one hive and requeened too.

    >I was taught that they will keep to the >bottom two supers on their own. Will they?

    Sometimes. Why not let them lay as may eggs as possible giving them a third box for Max. brood production. If they don't need it they will fill with honey. Just open it up by harvesting if you need too. But I bet many queen will lay the third box up. Also swarming will be about one in 20. Using three deep broodchambers your probably need 2 deep honey supers on average per colony maybe 3 -4.

    Clay

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads