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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Walters, MN USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Recombine hives? or kill off swarm?

    A friend of mine in Minnesota has a hive that swarmed in late August. He caught the swarm and put it in an extra deep box with new foundation, but no built up comb.

    The flow is done. The frost has hit.

    Is there any sense in thinking about combining that swarm back into the original hive at this point?

    I could see combining them back together (minus one of the queens) when there was still a flow, but now with no flow, I see no possible benefits of keeping that swarm. Combining the swarm back into the original hive at this point only makes me think of one word: Trouble.

    Am I right? Kill off that swarm and put the equipment away and prep the original hive for winter?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, Oh
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Recombine hives? or kill off swarm?

    The thing investigate first in order to make the correct decision is if the new queen is mated and laying. At the time of the swarm (and a week or so after), were there still enough drones flying in his area to ensure a good queen?

    If he has (or had a couple of weeks ago) a good brood pattern on the frames for his winter bees, I would think leaving the swarm hive to its own fate would be the correct choice (may be either way). Combining might lead to an overpopulation of bees for the amount of available stores.

    He could add fondant or a internal feeder to the swarm hive, but IMO it sounds a bit like a loosing battle.

    Sincerely,
    Paul E. Turley
    Last edited by pturley; 09-21-2011 at 01:27 PM. Reason: formatting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Walters, MN USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Recombine hives? or kill off swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by pturley View Post
    Combining might lead to an overpopulation of bees for the amount of available stores. He could add fondant or a internal feeder to the swarm hive, but IMO it sounds a bit like a losing battle.
    IMO there is no way the swarm will survive, as there isn't even comb in that box. Swarm in May load of hay, Swarm in June... blah, blah, Swarm after July, time to say good bye?

    From the day they swarmed, I suggested killing the new queen and re-combining ASAP and also checking for more queen cells in the original hive.

    Nothing was done, so I agree with your comment that combining at this late date poses the possibility of "an overpopulation of bees for the amount of available stores."

    I agree with that. I see the swarm hive as DOA and not worth any time or money at this point.

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

    Default Re: Recombine hives? or kill off swarm?

    Swarms are usually young bees. Young bees are what will get you to spring. You can just shake them out in front of another hive and see what happens or if you have some capped stores you could try to overwinter them as a nuc. If they make it they will probably be one of your better hives. If they don't, it was their choice to swarm. But why would I kill them? Every winter I overwinter nucs on purpose.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pembroke Pines, Florida
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Recombine hives? or kill off swarm?

    What are the laws (in florida) about killing bees?? I've heard from a few that it was illegal, while others say you can. Can someone educate me on the rules, terms, conditions for florida?

    Thanks
    Rj9002

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