Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Swarm!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    31

    Default Swarm!

    Today one of my hives swarmed. There were two clumps of bees that my husband and I retrieved out of our apple tree. I was lucky enough to see the old marked queen from the parent colony crawling up the side of the box that I placed the smaller clump of bees in. My question is, do hives ever send out two complete swarms with a queen in each swarm? The other group of bees is really worked up, still flying around and buzzing loudly. Should I put the two groups of bees together? This is my first year, so I really need advice. I know it is not a good outlook for either hive now that we are so late it the season. I plan to start feeding immediately. I guess I could give the seemingly queenless swarm a frame of brood from the parent colony, right? Or should I shake the two together? Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Franklin Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Swarm!

    Before combining - look in the smaller swarm to see they have a queen before you combine - otherwise she is likely a virgin queen and might kill your marked (mated) queen. You may have trouble getting a virgin queen (whether from the small swarm or the remaining hive) mated this late in the year. Do you have drones in your area? Our hives stopped raising drones weeks ago and only a few seen. You may need to find a mated queen or you'll lose the original hive, too. Check to see if original hive has enough honey frames to share with swarm - just be careful you don't start robbing. Does any of this help? Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Swarm!

    I checked that hive about two weeks ago and there was a fair bit of drone brood hatching...I actually watched one hatch...was that a sign of the upcoming swarm? The parent colony was doing fair bit of fanning about two hours after we caught the swarms. Could that mean that there isn't a new queen in the parent colony? I am worried that I only have one queen between the three groups of bees. Would it be too late in the season for them to generate a new queen from a frame of young brood? Thanks for the help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, U.S.A.
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: Swarm!

    they often make what they call casts after the main swarm,and yes they may have several virgins they raised just for this,so each could have a queen.One would be a virgin queen though.

    They probably have a virgin queen that stayed behind but they are hard to spot .....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Franklin Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Swarm!

    Bees have a way of doing what they want, but most likely you have one mated queen - the marked queen that was in the first swarm. Yes, the hive raising drones may have been a clue that they were planning to swarm. Even if there are drones, it will be two weeks for a new virgin queen to complete a mating flight and start laying eggs - and then almost 3 more weeks until her brood begins to emerge. This means they will be late raising winter bees. They might make it if you have a mild Fall and can provide sufficient honey stores. You can help them with feeding and strategic combining and/or adding mated queens. Do you have a local mentor or pro that can help? Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,106

    Default Re: Swarm!

    Just so there is no confusion, queens do not mate with drones from the same hive. Not even in Ohio!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Swarm!

    Thanks for all of the info...I laughed out loud about the "not even in Ohio" comment. The larger swarm may have rejoined the parent colony??? I think??? I checked both of my hives before installing the swarm this afternoon. I found tons and tons of bees in both. I was really surprised that the weaker colony that was nearly robbed to death a few weeks ago has filled almost every frame and they had swarm cells too!!! I was told that they are swarming because I am using 8 frame equipment...is that common? I did take two frames that were drawn out and had some uncapped honey in them and gave them to the re-hived swarm colony. I started feeding 1:1 sugar syrup this afternoon...I read in ABJ that the 1:1 is better for building comb. I was scared to get rid of the swarm cells. I know some people just cut them off the frames when they inspect. I gave both hives more space with a new super each. Will they change their mind about swarming again? When should I check them again?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads