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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Boone County, Indiana, USA

    Default Queenless frame of bees, where to put them?

    After catching a swarm there was a small patch of bees in the grass, about a medium frame's worth. I just left them there thinking they would find their way back to the hives about 20 ft away. But they were persistent and stayed there a couple of days. This morning, after a cold wet night, I thought they were all dead but later in the day they all came back to life so I was inspired to try to save them. I put an empty medium honey comb beside them and a few climbed on. I sprayed on some syrup and got maybe a 1/3 of them on the comb and put the comb in a nuc box. I then smoked them all into the box. So now I have a medium frames worth of bees in a nuc box.

    I figure the best use of them would be to add them back to a hive, likely even the swarm they originally left with. But how? I don't want them going back to their spot in the grass. What's the best way to get them into a hive? A newspaper combine or can I just stick them in?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Kosciusko, Ms

    Default Re: Queenless frame of bees, where to put them?

    New beekeeper here, so take it for what it's worth. I caught a swarm, but didn't get them all (I found out later that you are supposed to let the swarm sit in an open box, where you caught them, until after dark when all the bees are back at the swarm) anyway, I went back 2 nights later and got the rest of them and just dumped right in front of the hive and they all flew in within a minute. Maybe if you make the spot on the ground undesirable to them (repellent of some sort?) they will won't go back there. A

  3. #3
    matsurikafarra Guest

    Default Re: Queenless frame of bees, where to put them?

    Swarms are our preferred method of populating hives. I guess it would be better if you look for an expert. Be careful of the bees! Have a great day!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Bay City, MI 48706

    Default Re: Queenless frame of bees, where to put them?

    I would not be so sure they are queenless.

    I would put them in the 5 frame nuc and see what happens.
    Paul 15 years 15 hives TF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa

    Default Re: Queenless frame of bees, where to put them?

    I have never seen them do what you are describing. I have seen them return to the landing site if I didn't get the queen or all surround her if she landed on the ground, but in that case they went into the hive on their own. Maybe there was another queen in the swarm which caused some of the bees to stay with her on the ground. If there is then you have options. Make a split or pinch her and recombine depending on if one or both begin laying, or whatever your needs are at the moment. I am in the building stage, so I hate to see a queen perish, especially if she came from a good performing hive. If it was a primary swarm then you have a mated queen. If there is a virgin queen with the other bees and you just drop them in with the others there is going to be a fight.
    Good luck with whatever choose to do.

    When I catch a swarm, I don't move the hive until nightfall or early the next morning. This gives all the bees time to get settled. The ones on the ground find their way in just a few minutes.
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.


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