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Thread: My bees swarmed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chester County, PA, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default My bees swarmed

    I have had my first hive intalled since March 29th. They have been doing well and last week we added on the 2nd hive body. Today we noticed that there were a lot of bees buzzing and after looking high up in the trees we saw them collected on a branch about 50 feet up. After going back in the house for a little bit and comming back out the bees weren't on the branch anymore, but they are still flying around it. The bees are flying around all over the place and there is now a huge cluster on the hive and on the ground in front of it. Does this mean that they are making there way back to the hive? It looks like that might be what's happening. Can anyone please give some insight to the situation? I'll see if I can upload some pictures a little later. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Woodinville, Washington
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Steve,
    I would check closely for queen cells, sometimes they are covered with bees and easy to miss during a routine inspection. What you witnessed might have been a dry swarm runs without a queen. The second box was a good move. You might try to avoid packing up your bees, and might check to see that there is open cells for the queen to lay. The hive could be bound up with pollen etc. And thus crowded.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    798

    Default

    >>there is now a huge cluster on the hive and on the ground in front of it

    Did you have a clipped queen? It sounds like the swarm left but queen did not make it to the top of the tree. If they are still clustered outside the hive, I would try to brush them into a nuc/hive.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    575

    Default I agree..

    I agree with John...if you have a clipped queen then she couldn't fly...and she may not have the ability to go up in the air with the swarm. Thus, their return to your hive. Let us know...what you do.
    "My child, eat honey, for it is good." (Proverbs 24:13)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chester County, PA, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Well all of the bees went back into the hive so that's a good thing. I'll try and inspect it today and see if I can find a reason why they swarmed. The queen isn't clipped but I imagine that she didn't get very far and that's why they went back. After looking inside real quick yesterday the bees were going up inside the 2nd super so they should of had the room. I was reading something that said a day of really good weather after a spell of bad weather can initiate a swarm. It was raining for the past week and in the mid 50's but yesterday it was up in the 70's.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chester County, PA, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Ok I uploaded some photos. The first few are from the day of the swarm. That is what the hive looked like after they had all left the branch. I think it's safe to assume that all the bees went back to the hive lol. Today we inspected the hive and saw that they were going up into the 2nd super and had started to draw out the foundation a little. We looked at all the frames in the 1st super and found a few queen cells in the bottom corners of the frames and pulled them out. My question is why do you think they swarmed a full week after we put the 2nd super on. Shouldn't that have given them enough room so that they wouldn't swarm? Do you think I will have to worry about swarms in the future this summer?

    http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/8810/027zb6.jpg

    http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/8171/028if1.jpg

    http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/9940/026ta0.jpg

    http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/1552/029rp7.jpg

    http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/4818/032fw2.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    MisterSteve124, may I ask just two questions?

    Why did you pull out the queen cells?

    Is it so you can have a queenless hive after the old queen swarms?

    It certainly isn't going to keep her from going.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chester County, PA, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Well I didn't think that they would swarm without the queen so since they came back I figured she'd still be there. And I saw some eggs that weren't capped over yet and pretty small so I figured she would still be there laying. What should I do then? Should I just leave any more queen cells if they come up?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Once the hive decides to swarm, they are going to swarm. The only way to stop it is with an artificial swarm, or split, using the queen, and letting them raise a new queen.

    Any swarm prevention should be done before they prepare for swarming. Tearing down swarm cells after they have prepped to swarm will just leave you with a queenless hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chester County, PA, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Well technicaly they did swarm. It's just that they went back to the hive by themselves. Does this mean they will try to swarm again?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
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    5,080

    Default

    yes, very shortly.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chester County, PA, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    ok thanks I'll keep a lookout

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