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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Default Swarm while hive is being worked?

    Today, I decided to check one of my hives that I suspect swarmed a few weeks back. Last I checked, it was filled with capped and open brood, but I never saw any queen cells or the current queen. There was lots of nectar and honey, and a metric ton of bees.

    This time, the hive was filled with nectar and honey, had a few capped drone cells and a small patch of capped worker brood (very small) and was stuffed with at least 2-3 capped queen cells on every brood frame (there were three as I had opened the brood nest two weeks back). While I was working the hive, I heard a loud buzzing and saw bees flying around overhead in the tree above the hives. They congealed into a small swarm hanging from a branch.

    I noticed a flurry of what appeared to be robbing type behaviour from one of my currently queenless hives, but other than that I am not sure where the swarm came from. Do hives swarm when being worked? I did not notice any unusual activity other than the typical head-butters circling my veil. These queen cells were already leathery and capped, but not bald on the end. They looked very much like supercedure type queen cells. I split the brood frames up with my queenless hive and started another nuc with the others. I left one in the hive as I suspect they definitely have no queen now.

    Has anyone ever had a hive swarm while they worked it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Frisco City, AL, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Swarm while hive is being worked?

    Yes, had two swarm on me after I had the tops off this week; fortunately they didn't do far or high & I was able to catch them. Wish I had a video camera; they are so cool looking when they swarm! I haven't done a good job of swarm management, but have managed to go from 11 to 29 hives in the past month between splits using frames with queen cells and swarms that I've caught I seem to spend all of my free time assembling frames lately - lol!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Default Re: Swarm while hive is being worked?

    I have been assembling frames like a mad fool. I am guessing the hive I had open is the one that swarmed due to the sheer number of queen cells I found. This year I seem to be making more bees than honey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Swarm while hive is being worked?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    This year I seem to be making more bees than honey.
    That's OK, you still have about 7 months to make the honey...and now you have LOADS more bees to put to work on that job!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,727

    Default Re: Swarm while hive is being worked?

    Here's hoping!
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-09-2012 at 06:32 AM. Reason: UNQ
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Default Re: Swarm while hive is being worked?

    Our mountain flow is early and fast. We are right in the thick of it now. I may have to move all my girls down to the desert to help fatten them up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Swarm while hive is being worked?

    I keep trying to find a "like" button on these posts - I love the positive encouragement!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,315

    Default Re: Swarm while hive is being worked?

    Sadly, I could not retrieve the swarm. Unlike.

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