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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    haslett, mi, usa
    Posts
    6

    Default Swarm in september

    Is it normal for a hive to swarm in september in michigan? This is my first year, and I started with 2 hives. One hive is doing incredibly well, the other hive has swarmed repeatedly since June. The initial swarm I caught and made into a 3rd hive, which is starting to catch up even with the others. The hive that swarmed, had several virgin? swarms after the first big one at the end of june and beginning of july. Just 2 weeks ago I noticed they were making queen cups again, with larvae inside, not fully cells yet. I removed these as eggs were present so I knew I still had a queen. Today when I went into that hive they were very aggitated and I actually got a sting. I didn't go through the hive anymore as they were so worked up. About 2 hours later I noticed a substantial swarm high up in a tree next to the hives. Unfortunately I did not see which hive it came from, but based on earlier findings, I'm guessing it was that same hive again. Why does this hive keep swarming? I thought this late in the year, swarming was not to worry about? All the hives still appear to have a ton of bee activity, we have tons of goldenrod coming in, and they have room up top to fill more supers. Why is this happening? Is there anything I can do? I'm worried about the new queen so close to cold weather, assuming she is there and able to mate.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Genesee County, Michigan
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Swarm in september

    I live in Michigan and my hive swarmed too this month.. early September. I have yet to check on them since. Your brood box must be getting very overcrowded and with Michigan's weird weather lately, it's not too late for a swarm.

    Hopefully a more experienced beekeeper can answer this one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,288

    Default Re: Swarm in september

    Yet another falsehood with many others is that you don't have to worry about swarming in the fall. Anytime the brood boxes are full, they'll swarm. Read the link below and keep on top of it and you won't have to worry. If it were in San Francisco, I would simply wait for the new queen to mate but I imagine in Michigan your odds aren't as good.

    You could do nothing and take your chances and if the new queen doesn't mate you could combine with another hive or you could try to intro a mated queen but you have to get rid of the capped swarm cells and you may already have a virgin running around in there. Virgins are hard to spot. You could also start a Nuc with a mated queen and keep her in reserve until you see what's going on with your hive.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,487

    Default Re: Swarm in september

    You can make them swarm almost anytime if you crowd them enough.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Venango, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Swarm in september

    As of yesterday I have had my fifth swarm in a week. Each of the hives that swarmed had empty honey supers on top of them. This was not a problem last year, but this year is a whole new thing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Hop Bottom, PA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Swarm in september

    I'm no expert... but I try and sneak some empty frames down below the new honey supers. Seems to work for me. The only swarms I've had are from a bee tree i have.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Swarm in september

    I had two swarm calls friday, both from beetrees. Caught me off guard being so late in the season without any equipment in my truck and I got to the first one too late, and then I had the dickens of a time getting the 2nd swarm to stay in the nuc I shook it into, finally resorted to vacuuming them after 2 failed attemps. Gave them to a friend that had a queenless hive.

    Don

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Swarm in september

    Jacob and swarm b.JPGJacob and swarm.JPG

    Went to gather a swarm today and had a little help.

    Maybe a little too much help, the bees went back up into the tree.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Albany, CA, USA
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Swarm in september

    I agree. Sounds like the girls need more room. One thing I learned about the bees--they don't care about our rules and shoulds.
    Mil Apostol - Chef, Beekeeper, Gardener, Forager, and Geocacher
    http://www.UrbanFarmAndBeehives.com

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