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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Litchfield county, CT USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Swarm in CT this time of year??

    I had a strong hive with a great queen. about two weeks ago while going an inspection i found queen cells and a much smaller population. No eggs but a lot of capped brood. Now i have no brood and 6 capped queen cells. I am very concerned that there are not any drones left for the queen to mate with as well as this seems very late for a swarm. I did not see a swarm but all the signs seem to point to one.
    Has anyone in the area seen a swarm this late in the year?
    Anyone have a guess on the chances the queen will mate? And if not will she hang out till spring now or am I looking at a hve that will slowly dwindle away and die out this winter?
    Just when I thought I was making progress expanding my bee yard.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Swarm in CT this time of year??

    Hi Noah, I'm north of you (and maybe east with one yard) and still see lots (lots) of drones as of last weekend (still have a lot of capped worker brood, some drone brood that I'm slicing as I see it as well). So, drones should be present in your area, if not your hives. Whether they are going on mating flights (what else do they have to do?) this late, or just mooching off the hives, I don't know. I would think the smell of a virgin queen would bring the boys out. But it will take about a month (from swarm) to get a mated queen if all goes well. You may want to feed them like crazy, including splitting some stores and brood frames from other hives (?) - or compress what you have into a single box or stacked nukes if the remainder is really diminished from original density. Do you still have capped brood in good amounts in this hive, now 2 weeks out from the swarm? Honey and pollen?

    I'm pretty certain an unmated queen has a limited life expectancy in a hive, so if she doesn't mate now, the hive will remain queenless without much prospect for the winter.

    Others may advocate just doing a newspaper combine and thinking about a spring split. I would defer to the veterans on that choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Swarm in CT this time of year??

    Same happened to me in Indiana yesterday. We must be on the cuspid of some type of bee phenomenon. I was lucky enough to be walking in the yard when this happened, and I was able to hive the swarm. My concern is the same as yours. Is the new hive queen going to find enough drones to make a good laying queen.
    After reading your post I thought is was Deja Vu all over again (Yoggi Berra). I had 2 deep hive bodies and a super. I guess I will check the old hive in 2 weeks to see if I have a laying queen. I hope you still have some guys hanging around to help out your queen.

    Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lemont, Il U.S.A.
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Swarm in CT this time of year??

    Had a swarm 9-6-12 3lbs. Had a swarm yesterday 3-4 lbs. Harvested twice. Brood everywhere. Crazy year!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Litchfield county, CT USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Swarm in CT this time of year??

    BeeButler, thanks for the info, i have not seen any drones in a while in my hives but at least there is hope for the area. I have been feeding the last week and the hive has about 4 full deep frames of honey and some on most of the other frames as well as a pretty good supply of pollen. I saw almost no brood on Sat when i checked the hive last.

    Rick, I feel for you, I just wish I had not missed the swarm and I might not have been so frustrated. I am trying to increase the number of hives I have and they seem to be working against me this year.

    I guess I will check again in a couple weeks before I wrap them for winter and hope to find some brood and a laying queen. This has been a strange year. One of my other hives quit laying in the early July for a couple of weeks even though the others were going like gang busters and one of my Nucs refused to make a queen after several new frames of eggs and larva so I had to combine it with another this fall. On the up side the girls did have a pretty good honey crop for the year.

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