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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    santa monica, ca
    Posts
    175

    Default Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    I went to pick some avocados the other day and found a swam in the tree. I shook them into a box and was a happy camper. There was a blade of comb in the center of the cluster. Is it normal for a swarm to build comb while clustered in a tree?
    Buzz Abbott
    USDA zone 11a, Western Garden zone 24 (75 ft elev. n34.0w118.47)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,345

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    I haven't seen a full fledged comb with an active swarm, but I have seen where they have started to draw out cells on a spa and on branches, I guess if the swarm is in the same place long enough it feels the need to get things started.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Laurens, SC, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    I was under the impression that they normally would not build comb while outside a structure but that Africanized Honey Bees would. We don't yet have AHB here in South Carolina.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,674

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    Saw one here in Il last year 100ft up a pine, they had 5 combs and a thriving hive. It was a drought year for us and they did fine. Someone finally cut them down in early august.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    This is an open air hive or exposed hive. Regular honey bees here in MI. There was about seven combs the size of a volleyball.
    DSCN5209-001.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    957

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    We have seen some like that here. We wondered if the swarm got caught out by bad weather and stayed there long enough to stop looking for another spot......?
    Lee Burough
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Elmira, NY
    Posts
    937

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    If bees of a certain age have are gorged with honey (which bees do in preparation to swarm) and have no where to put it, they will begin to secrete wax as it is metabolized.
    Bees being bees, if the swarm's scouts take a while to find a new hive space, they put that wax to constructive use.

    If you look closely at the surface a swarms was on, you will often find little white flecks of wax attached to it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    DesAllemands, Lousiana
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    We get external hives in trees quite often here in Louisiana. I noticed that if a swarm around here stays in one place for more than a couple days they start building comb. Makes for a real easy cut out. I will be removing an external hive from an oak tree in the next couple of weeks. Ill try to get pics of it as they really are a sight to see.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    I've got pics, how do I post

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    Img

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeSmart View Post
    I was under the impression that they normally would not build comb while outside a structure but that Africanized Honey Bees would. We don't yet have AHB here in South Carolina.
    I've heard the same thing. However, I collected two swarms last year (2012) that had started comb on the branches in upper east TN. We don't have AHB. -js

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    A couple was gone to Florida for 6weeks. When they got back they called me. I have pics but don't know how to post

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Clarendon County, SC, USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    Cemetary hive.jpg
    I found 2 last year. One in a blueberry bush the size of a softball, the other (the one in the photo) 40 ft up in an oak tree. I guess the scouts never found a suitable home and the swarm setup housekeeping.
    Last edited by Blackwater Bees; 03-12-2013 at 01:35 PM. Reason: screwed up

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    Ken,
    Click on the insert image link, then click basic uploader, click choose file, click (or double click) on your pic, then click upload file.
    Try it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    How do I attach pic

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    Ken,
    Is there a kid around? lol

    My kid had to show me. She did it so fast the first time, I made her show me in slo mo the second time.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    Thank your daughter for me Beeman.Not all that hard once you get a kid to show ya. Thanks again

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    She said "your welcome" Ken. Nice pics BTW. Easy hive!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: Is it the norm for a swam in a tree to build some comb?

    Wish they were all that easy last year.

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