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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Grants, NM
    Posts
    1

    Default Is it possible for a newly hived package to swarm?

    I installed my first two packages 10 days ago. One of the hives seems to be weak compared to the other. The stronger of the two is very active. I did my first inspection of the hives today and the stronger hive has what looks like swarm cells in the center of one of the frames. My question is, is it possible for the bees to swarm after only 10 days in the hive or is this likely supersedure? Is this likely just drone cells? They have drawn comb on 6 of the 10 frames. There is eggs and larvae in some of the comb. Most of the comb is full of nectar (probably the syrup I have fed them). I have only one deep on the hive now.

    Secondly, if they are swarming should I cut the swarm cell out and move that frame to the weaker hive (this frame has larvae in it)?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Is it possible for a newly hived package to swarm?

    Last year I took a swarm down that was so big, it took 2 deep hive bodies just to get them all in. I put them on brand new wax foundation and moved them to the country. When I went to check on them 2 weeks later, not only had they drawn out and filled all 20 frames, they had capped swarm cells on top of that! That was 14 days from take down til inspection, so from my experience, anything is possible. Maybe they don't feel the queen is up to par and want to replace her. You'd know if it was a queen cell (will go verticle down the frame) or a drone cell (will be horizontal like a workers cell, only a bit bigger), they look different.
    My question to you is "have you looked INSIDE the cell to see if there is an egg or larva in it?" Bees tend to build queen cups even though they have no real intention of using them.

    C2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Is it possible for a newly hived package to swarm?

    Remember, most primary swarms contain the 'old' queen. So she is already at least a year old, maybe two.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,136

    Default Re: Is it possible for a newly hived package to swarm?

    If you feed heavy enough, they might, but it's more likely a supersedure.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Portsmouth, NH
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Is it possible for a newly hived package to swarm?

    swarm cells in the center of one of the frames
    Swarm cells in the center of the frame are supersedure cells. I would guess the queen was poorly mated, damaged, or the just don't like her and want to replace her. I would not cut it out as it might be your only chance to keep a queen. If you can contact the supplier of the package and see if they will give you a new queen.
    Backyard beekeeping and honey bees.
    www.BlueLineApiary.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Is it possible for a newly hived package to swarm?

    From what I understand if they're superseding her let them go. The queen that they raise will often be better suited to your area and will be better than a queen that you'd get if you buy one (unless you pay pretty good for her) I'd let them sort it out. JMHO and research.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Is it possible for a newly hived package to swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrbbees View Post
    Remember, most primary swarms contain the 'old' queen. So she is already at least a year old, maybe two.
    The second part is not true. Unless you marked the queen when she hatched, you have no idea how old she is. I have seen hives swarm several times in one year. Each one of those queens were not at least one year old.

    C2

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington USA
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Is it possible for a newly hived package to swarm?

    The key here is newly hived, so that is, along with the fact the cells are mid-frame, be supercedure cells if they are queen cells. Package bees, if in a good flow with a good young queen can swarm in as little as eight or ten weeks from installation. Neither supercedure nor swarming is based on a queens age, it is based upon capacity of the queen in supercedure and the amount of queen pheromones within a hives population; a crowded brrodnest congested with honey can cause those to drop adn the bees then (usually-but not always) make queen cells at the bottom edge of a brood frame.

    Chris

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Dahlonega, GA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Is it possible for a newly hived package to swarm?

    Its been a crazy year for me due to swarms. I have had a total of four hives swarm. One was a three week old package in a nuc. The others we're one year old spilts from last fall (new queens). I only caught one of the swarms. And that one was from the nuc. About the size of a coffe cup swarm. Crazy. Out of all the swarms none of the hives were left queen right. Anybody having similar results?

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