Was this a swarm?
I was called the a local hotel on Friday night (10 pm) to collect a swarm which was hanging quietly outside one of the rooms. It was a good size, maybe 20,000 bees.
During the course of hiving it yesterday I got stung a couple of times and it occurred to me that rather than a 'swarm', could these be Africanized which absconded? Seems pretty late in the year for such a large swarm even for San Diego.
I don't want to be paranoid, but if I keep them and wait and see how they turn out they could move on, in which case I'm helping the spread.
By definition...yes. It is a swarm.
geoffkb, this late in the year I didn't think that the bees would atempt to swarm either. But I had a hive abscond about a week ago, left it empty. I don't think they have time to survive the winter. There were a few SHB in the hive, but not much more than normal, and no larva. But to be honest, that colony performed so poorly, that I didn't really miss them much anyways. When I saw that they left, I just said. Dont they know that its almost Fall?
That's so helpful.
It could possibly be a bee "beard", like those on most of my hives.
In homestead's webite, someone posted there was a swarm the other day. So when she wrote that... I wondered, but then the next day she posted that they left.... so yep... they do swarm this late in the year. As far as them being Africanized, you could go in and take out the queen and re-queen. As the others die off they will be replaced with whatever the queen is.
Last edited by Eaglerock; 09-22-2008 at 12:39 PM.
Studies from Cornell, found that swarms are closely related to nectar flows. In areas such as the northeast with goldenrod and aster, and in Florida with varieties of pepper, a secondary swarm season amounting to 20% of the swarms issued yearly were fall swarms. Fall swarms are common, which is an excellent reason why having an extra queen in a nuc box is a good thing, just in case you need it.
Last week, I caught two swarms.