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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    S. W. \'Washington State, Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    71

    Default Will a swarm ever return to the originating hive?

    One of my hives swarmed two days ago and I managed to capture it. This afternoon it swarmed again and gathered on a branch about 75 feet away, too high to capture. About 1/2 hour after they seemed to have settled down I noticed many of the bees leaving the cluster and milling around. Then a bit later I looked at the original hive and it looked like it was swarming again, it looked like a huge orientation flight, many bees milling around and clustering on the front of the hive. When I went to look at the branch, all of the bees were gone. As I write this, (I can see the hives out of the window) nearly all of the bees have entered the hive. ???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    They most likely went without the queen, for whatever the reason, so they returned. They will try again in a day or two, possibly with a different queen than the one who couldn't keep up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,063

    Default

    One of mine swarmed last week, went back in after never settling down, and now looks like they stayed. I have pics of it re-entering.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Burlington NC
    Posts
    125

    Default

    I had one of my strongest hives do that same thing today. Someone told me I had a big swarm in a bush and when I got there to look they were in the air and going back in. The second surplus super is foundation so I was waiting for them to draw it out before adding another. How can I make these bees stay home and work? We seem to have a very good poplar flow going now.

    I removed all the Swarm cells 4 days ago and the Queen was laying good then.

    I hope this link works

    http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...45_95366554515
    Last edited by nc checkers; 05-04-2008 at 08:53 PM. Reason: add link to picture

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Johnston, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default

    Sound like a case of home sickness... they decided not to leave after all!

    NC Checkers' bees are kind of restless too. It's like the boy with his belongings on the end of a stick, he leaves home for a while, starts to miss it and returns. But, yeah, it would be nice if they go some of their chores done.

    -Nathanael
    Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary http://beachesbeehaven.com
    Aiken Beekeepers Association http://aikenbeekeepers.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    S. W. \'Washington State, Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    71

    Default

    Is it common enough that one can be too hasty to hive a swarm from a known hive?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,063

    Default

    Bees can and will make a liar of you again and again. I'm not one to say yes or no. Just remember, a swarm in hand is better than a swarm flying off into the woods. Once they have clustered, I'm hivin them up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Default

    Four years back I had some hives about 50 miles up the road. The guy who owned the property called me to tell me one hive had swarmed and they were in a tree about 10 feet off the ground. So, I drove out there and put the swarm into a new hive we set up next to the original one. I guess it was too close for them, because the guy called me again the next day and said the bees had absconded from their new home and had flown back to the same tree. I drove out there again, but this time I brought the swarm and empty hive back to Anchorage and hived them at home. This time they stayed put.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,785

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nc checkers View Post
    I had one of my strongest hives do that same thing today. Someone told me I had a big swarm in a bush and when I got there to look they were in the air and going back in. The second surplus super is foundation so I was waiting for them to draw it out before adding another. How can I make these bees stay home and work? We seem to have a very good poplar flow going now.

    I removed all the Swarm cells 4 days ago and the Queen was laying good then.

    I hope this link works

    http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoVie...45_95366554515

    This hive will definitely swarm on you (if it hasn't already)! Cutting out swarm cells is not going to prevent this. I'd split this hive ASAP, taking the old queen with the split. It may actually increase your honey yield too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,666

    Default Will a swarm return

    I had this problem and a old beek said to put a frame of brood in with them and they won!t leave.I did and it worked.He also said you can put a queen exclueder between the bottomboard and brood chamber to keep the queen from leaving.I don!t know about the last one? I!ve always heard the workers will slim the old queen down before they swarm so she can fly,but it might work?

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