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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gainesville Florida
    Posts
    15

    Default PreSwarm Symptoms?

    I work near about 20 hives. Found a pretty big swarm on a low tree about a week ago, caught it and installed it, pretty cool. Since then I have been keeping a closer eye on the other hives (not mine). I noticed one of the hives has been bearding the last two days. Its slowly growing but fairly small. There is a clump hanging over the ledge by the entrance that is about the size of a softball and about the same amount spread out over the hive. I don't have permission to open the hives or I would be looking for swarm cells. I have read that if they are bearding at this time it is most likely about to swarm. What do you guys think?

    Also a question about keeping swarms. If i was to catch a swarm on friday evening and had to keep it until monday morning to buy supplies should transport the hive to the backyard and leave the box with a small opening or should i keep it in a cool place closed until then? If so should i feed them?

    Thanks
    Last edited by komodoman; 02-24-2013 at 09:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    858

    Default Re: PreSwarm Symptoms?

    Is the bearding on the swarm you just caught? Sounds like it is. I wonder if the swarm had more than one queen. Other than that I would assume the colony is too big for the hive it's in. Is it a single deep? 5 frame? Are they in a hive that has drawn comb?

    If I had a swarm in a temporary box I would not give them and opening.They may leave on you. Vent and feed if you can. They will have comb built in those few days. I'm still an amature, just finishing 3 years.
    Hopefully others will answer.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gainesville Florida
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: PreSwarm Symptoms?

    The bearding is happening on a different hive, not the one with the swarm I caught. It has one deep brood chamber and one deep super w/10 frames. I checked again and there is even more bearding now. They come out in the afternoon and go back inside by the morning. Thanks for the tips.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,062

    Default Re: PreSwarm Symptoms?

    I think the more you can do in advance of any swarm, the better your chances of success. Maybe you need to have a suitable box in your car with everything you think you might need to capture the swarm.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: PreSwarm Symptoms?

    If you box a swarm on Friday into a cardboard box (is what I'm thinking you mean) then by Monday they will have wild comb drawn inside the cardboard box. Yes, do give them an opening, and no don't give a feeder yet. On Monday, you'll need to carefully open the cardboard box and dump the bees into the hive box. In the hive box, remove a frame or two before dumping in the bees. Then cut the wild comb drawn, if there is enough to warrant doing so, and tie it into the frame you have removed from the box and then put it into the beehive box. Now put a feeder on if there is no flow, and you have a hive. Good luck!
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gainesville Florida
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: PreSwarm Symptoms?

    Update. Turns out the hive finally swarmed. It was bearding for several days and then stopped. The weather got cold for a week or so and then today it warmed up causing them to swarm. Bearding in spring = Swarming

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