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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Florence SC USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Swarm then Queenless

    I had a very strong hive swarm about 3 weeks ago. I went into the hive today and bee wise it is still quite strong with loads of honey and pollen. However, there are no queen signs.......no brood, no eggs (my eyes are not the best), nothing. How long should I wait or should I just introduce a new queen? What would one normally expect to see in a hive 3 weeks after a swarm?

    Ed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Swarm then Queenless

    Just for clarification, we are talking about the parent hive that the swarm left from? That being the scenario, you may have a virgin queen that has to harden off, go out and mate, and then start her life as an egg machine. Might not happen in the time frame we humans say it is supposed to. IMHO Give it time

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,758

    Default Re: Swarm then Queenless

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm

    The cells are usually capped the day the swarm leaves, so odds are eight days later a virgin emerges and 14-21 days after that she will probably laying. So 22-29 days after the swarm you should have eggs.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,271

    Default Re: Swarm then Queenless

    Before she starts laying they will polish a group of cells, usually in the center of the hive, and in my experience, just below the top bars. If you see this sign check back in a week and you will see eggs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Florence SC USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Swarm then Queenless

    Thanks to everyone for the information. I am learning a lot from this. First, it looks like I have jumped the gun with my concern. I will give it more time. I did see bees with pollen on their legs in the hive. I have been told that queenless hives do not bring in pollen. Is this true?

    Polishing cells ? Okay. I noticed that the cells in the middle of what was the brood chamber are now clean and shiny wet. It appears they are starting to use them to store honey. I took this to be a bad sign since the queen cannot lay in cells being used for honey storage. Is this wet/shiny look what you are referring to or is there more to come?

    Thanks,

    Ed

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,271

    Default Re: Swarm then Queenless

    Don't worry. They will actually empty the cells out completely. They look dry before they are laid in. They will move the nectar out to do this. If you see a stream of bees moving in pollen, I'm taking about bees per minute as opposed to a bee every 5 minutes then you can be almost certain she is laying. It is best not to disturb her then for a week, by then a pattern of brood she be visible.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Florence SC USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Swarm then Queenless

    They are now bringing in a lot of pollen. Looks like giving nature time is the key. I will leave them alone for a couple of weeks and then take a look.

    Thanks,

    Ed

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