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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    I heard them come in behind my apiary but saw no bees coming from my hives. It moved on and landed in a tree where I boxed them. My hives seem normal and I added supers already. I don't think they are mine.
    If I go in them tomorrow would I see queen cells if mine?
    image.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    If the queens in your hives are marked:
    Look at the queen in the swarm. If it is marked, and
    hen you inspect your hives you find one with an unmarked queen, OR
    One with no queen but some queen cells
    Then
    it's fairly likely, but not guaranteed that the swarm came from your apiary.
    BUT
    If your queens are unmarked, there's no way I know of to tell...(but I don't know much..maybe a more expert beek knows)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Not marked. Do bees create swarm cells before swarming always?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,987

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Those look like mine. They must have flown to Novato because they changed the tolls on the Golden Gate Bridge to automatic payment only. The bees knew that the toll booth cameras could not read their license plates so that no toll would be required. I will come up tomorrow and get them back.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Marin County, California, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Those look like mine. ... I will come up tomorrow and get them back.
    lol

    wait, I think that's from the feral colony I've been keeping an eye on near Wildhorse valley... I'll come up tomorrow and collect them
    Brian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Gonna have to charge a capture and nuc fee, hmmmmmmm, how about $75?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaBees View Post
    Not marked. Do bees create swarm cells before swarming always?
    Yep.
    Well almost always...anytime you say "always" or "never" you're just begging to be proved wrong.

    If your marked queen is suddenly gone, and 2/3 of your bees didn't go with her, she probably got superceded.
    Virgin queens are sometimes a challenge to find on crowded comb, bot b/c of their size and not being marked.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,706

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Collect them and say... Merry Christmas to me!
    Check into your hives in about three days.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Bees are unionized... If they came from one of your hives they would have little picket signs protesting the work conditions in one of your hives.

    If you were in the yard it is pretty obvious when a hive swarms... The tone of the hive changes and then you hear a rotor like sound for a few minutes. A traveling swarm doesn't make nearly as much noise as an emerging swarm from a hive.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    In my experience, swarms initially come to a rest within sight of the parent nest. So, unless there are other colonies within sight of that tree branch....you can bet they're yours.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,936

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    So, unless there are other colonies within sight of that tree branch....you can bet they're yours.
    beemandan..... I would have to respectifully disagree with that conclusion. Swarms often come from quite some distance and swarms often move several times before settling in on a location. So they may have left some place, moved, and then moved again. Where they came from, may or may not, be in sight of where they are when you find them. Unless you saw them come from your hives, you may have no way of knowing where they came from. Could be close-by, or could be a mile or more away.

    CaBees.. If you go into your hives, you should definately see queen cells from a hive that threw a swarm. You will also find no queen. But, you may also see cells and still have a queen in the hive. Queen cells are common during a good honey flow when swarming season starts.

    cchoganjr

  12. #12

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    beemandan..... I would have to respectifully disagree with that conclusion.
    You might note that the first three words in my post were....In my experience.
    Carrying that a step further....I don't doubt that swarms may move once or even more than once in their search for a new home....I've never seen anything documenting this but I would expect that it is the exception.
    Having said all of that....what do you think the odds are that a swarm from some distance away, in it's secondary or tertiary move would coincidentally come to a rest within sight of the op's hives?
    So, I, too, will respectfully disagree and repeat my first conclusion....you can bet they're yours.
    I wouldn't bet my life but I'd bet a month's wages.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    Thanks all. I was in my yard and heard the swarm, ran back and saw them pretty darn high up; thousands in a cloud; and I immediately looked and did not see bees pouring out of my hives. Could they really have poured out so fast and still have other bees coming and going as usual? I ran and got my suit, ran back up and they were gone! Walked up the hill slightly and heard them again, they had gone around the hill away from my hive and settled in a tree. Captured last night, transferred to a hive box today between storm showers so (LOTS of BEES, heavy)...can't really go into my other hives with this weather and back to work tomorrow...cannot look until next weekend (7 days).

    My neighbors were the bees were heading too had a feral hive in their oak but they are not nice people so I will not ask them about it....I am thinking if not from my hive then from theirs. Will report next weekend what I see and again, thanks for the opinions. We have lots of bees in this community and are adjacent to open space with known feral hives there too. I will name these the Easter Swarm.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,177

    Default Re: How to tell if swarm from your own hive?

    The bees swarm about the time the swarm cells get capped. The hive should have almost no eggs in it, because the bees have been running the queen around the hive to get her in shape for flight.
    Since you heard the swarm come in while standing at you're hives, I'd guess it didn't come from you're hives. My apiary seems to attract local swarms that didn't come from my hives, don't know why.
    Dan

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