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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Manassas, VA
    Posts
    68

    Default One of my hives swarmed today

    My daughter came in this afternoon around 2:00 and said "Mom, your girls are out on the tree!" I ran outside and sure enough, they were swarmed on a tree branch. The swarm was huge.....bigger than a basketball. I can't say I was surprised, really. I thought the hive was getting a bit crowded and I cut out a queen cell a few weeks ago which I later found out was a mistake.

    I called around to some other members of the local beekeeping club to see if I could get some help catching them. Luckily, one of the members was available and he came over within about 15 minutes. We cut the branch but then promplfy dropped it and it was bee-mania for a while there. Bees everwhere! Unfortunately, my friend was stung a couple times but I came away sting free.

    This is where it gets a little weird. Most of the bees went back to the hive and were bearding on the front. Some of the bees were forming a new cluster on the tree. We let them settle down then I cut down the new cluster and put into a screened box then transfered to a new hive. I never saw a queen so I don't know what happened to her. I went out about an hour later and there were no bees in the new hive at all. I peeked into the original hive and the population was definately low so I assume they swarmed again and are now gone.

    I added a super to each hive although its obviously too late for the one. I also noticed about a dozen bits of pollen on the ground out in front of the other hive....the size and shape you see in the pollen cups on foraging bees when they return to the hive. I wonder what that's all about.

    Ugh....this really sucks. I can't wait until September 17th when my club is having a hive inspection day at my house. I really need some knowledgeable eyes on my hives.

    Stephanie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    robertsdale,Al.,USA
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    you probably shouldn't give them a super they can't guard against moths &or beetles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    You're not alone Stephanie, I also had a hive swarm today. They settled high up in a poplar tree and stayed there for about 30 minutes and then they were gone, couldn't see what direction they went. It sure seems odd to me for a hive to swarm this late in the year. I don't think they will make it thru the winter. I have another hive that is showing lots of activity, I am going to look at it tomorrow and I'm going to split it if it is crowded cause I sure hate losing those that swarm.
    Matt....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    Don't think of this as a total loss if your hive is full of honey for winter. You know have a new, young queen to help your hive get ready for a great spring honey season. Furthermore, you can think of this swarm as helping to release bees to the wild....

    I only say this because trying to get a swarm through a winter and swarming this late is tough.......

    Best of luck. Your new queen will produce the bees you need for fall / winter....

    Regards,
    Phil
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    You're probably right Phil, but I sure hate it when a swarm flies off to the wild blue....
    Matt....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    798

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    I had a swarm last Friday. They settled in the top of a large oak tree and had to endure a hurricane the next day. They then took flight and I had to kisss them goodbye. As somesone said, "Stuff happens".
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    They are probably a lot closer than you think if it was evening when they left the second time... I would suggest taking a good look early in the am, and setting a lure in that bait hive...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Manassas, VA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    Here is the picture of the swarm

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

    Stephanie

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    the best thing to do is tomorrow when they cluster again in a new 10 frame deep box give them two frames of honey with a empty one in the middle then the others empty as well, get close and spray with 1:1 warm sugar water catch most not all of them like 60% in the box place in desired location then leave alone they will return to tree and all bees will eventually go to box. good luck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Manassas, VA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    I just went out to feed my hives and the one that swarmed is still pretty full of bees. Has anyone ever had a hive swarm and then come back????

    Stephanie

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    Happens quite often actually... however, brood can emerge in large numbers after a swarm due the original queen laying until she runs out of room... so it could be that the mass of bees are fresh ones...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Weber, UT
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: One of my hives swarmed today

    Quick, while you have a virgin queen and not much brood go out and do treatments for varroa. I wish I had when mine swarmed.

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