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Thread: July Swarm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Fargo, ND, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default July Swarm

    So I started with two new packages of bees in April (installed the 15th). They each had 2 deeps (50% drawn when they went in). They have had 3 honey supers added since then and then my MN Hygenics got a medium added to the brood box once they started looking crowded. The last two inspections I've done (mid-June and the 30th) found queen cells (the first time, I accidentially broke them all off as they were built hanging between the lower box's frames and I didn't see them until I lifted the frame to check for eggs and that was that). I managed to do the same sort of thing on the 30th, but there may have been one that survived. Anyhow, on July 1st, they swarmed (I think it was them) into a small oak tree, about 10 ft up. I captured it in a medium of drawn comb with a shallow on top and then today went and opened the reducer to the smallest setting and added another medium of new foundation. I'd estimate that the swarm was 5+ pounds- they totally filled the hive boxes I gave it.

    Anyways, tonight, I went out and saw a swarm in the same tree (different branch, a little higher) and first thought of the new swarm hive absconding, but lookking at that hive, I see many bees coming and going, so I think they are still in there. So now I wonder if my Carniolian hive has also thrown a swarm. I think I'm going to ignore this one since I am basically out of places to put it, but I stuck a nuc on top of the chicken run in hopes of it choosing that spot (it's probably too small). The Carnies didn't show any queen cells on the 30th though, so I'm greatly confused. Anyone have any ideas as to what happened? And how common is it for a new package to swarm?

    I've had Carnies in the yard for the past 5 years and have never had a swarm. I am irritated, to say the least.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: July Swarm

    Can you tell by the color of the bees do they match?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    There are some ways you might determine if they are your bees.
    Color of the bees, feral might be mixed more. Also Color of drones. Cell size feral bees (at least in my area) build comb that is 4.9, if you have 5.4 cell size your swarms should build 5.1 without foundation. You can also weight the bee to figure what stage of regression it it in. and also the temperament, if your bees are nice and all of a one of your traps that is QR are mean bees they might not be yours.
    Bees attract bees, many have seen swarms fly in to their apairy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: July Swarm

    Bees will often use the same tree and branch year after year to swarm on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Fargo, ND, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: July Swarm

    I am pretty sure they are domestic bees- the size and color is right. I am also pretty sure they'd have to be mine, because I am the only person keeping bees in town here (or at least legally). I guess I'll just have to check the parent hives next weekend and see if I can determine what happened. If they are waiting for a queen to emerge or to get home from mating, I don't want to go digging in there. A beekeeper from about 45 minutes away came and collected the swarm last night and there are still about 100 bees hanging on the branch- hopefully he got the queen and they are just returning to her lingering smell. Only time will tell.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    528

    Default Re: July Swarm

    you can catch them a use them as an increase for you weak hive if any .just find the queen in the swarm and remove her.

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