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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Stafford, Virginia

    Default Excessive Swarming

    I just returned from the Palm Beach area where I placed our colonies at the beginning of October. Almost immediately upon arrival, the colonies begun to swarm and several more have done so. When we left Virginia at the beginning of the month to drop off the hives, the weather was in the 40-50's. It is in the 80's in the Palm Beach area.

    We are prepping the colonies for transfer to the Citrus Groves and while I understand swarming is normal, I have not seen it this prevelant.

    All queens are summer 2012 and they were on Brazilian Pepper for the month. The bottoms are partially plugged out, but the second deep is pretty empty. Anyone else have similar issues in the FLorida or southern area this year?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Dorset, Vermont

    Default Re: Excessive Swarming

    Do you think your bees are too hot? They like a temperature for the brood (and let's face it, themselves and their comb) within a few degrees of 95F. If you have the same ventilation arrangement as you did in the cooler climate, then swarming and bearding and the attendant waste of bee energy to cool the hive, is inevitable.

    Try an indoor/outdoor thermometer with the probe dropped a few inches down the center hole of your inner cover. If you see temperatures above 95F, you might think about ventilation. No reason to speculate. Check it out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Sacramento, CA, USA

    Default Re: Excessive Swarming

    What's partially plugged out mean? With honey? It's probably a temperature response I would imagine going from 50 to a nice 80 degrees. Reversing the boxes upon arrival might have helped to simulate a natural winter-spring transition with the temperature change and encourange the bees to use both boxes instead of swarming out and not moving up.


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