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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Queenless Swarm?? Possible?

    So, I got called on a swarm that was one of three that a wild hive in a large upside down flower had thrown. Calm bees from what I can see. The swarm that I was there to look at was thought to be the first that showed up about 6 weeks ago. Then it sounds like the swarm broke into two chunks. Another beek came and got the lower swarm since it was a simple clip branch swarm. The upper swarm that is left is in the crook of a tree and will require a vac to get them out. The hive then threw a "third" swarm which only stayed for a few days and found a home. The home owner says that the person who took the "second" swarm (the one I think is just a chunk of the original swarm) says they seem healthy and show all the right signs of having a queen.

    What do you all think the chances are that there is a queen in the swarm that is left? I don't see any comb, but do observe some nectar gather, although no pollen was coming in. If queenless, I am thinking of combining with a weak swarm I picked up two weeks ago. If there is a chance of a queen, then I will set up in a nuc box for a few weeks since this swarm is not super large any longer (cantalope size).

    Anyone had issues like this? Also, the homeowner said that the swarm moved a few times while in the yard. Spent a couple of days on the ground, then back up into the tree.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Queenless Swarm?? Possible?

    I got a swarm once that had 3 queens in it.
    I had a swarm fly into my yard, that separated into two different boxes by night fall, both boxes had a queen. One queen had traces of a mark on her so was the old queen, the other took two weeks to lay so was a virgin, I figure.

    I've also gotten swarms that were queenless, so your swarm may or may not have a queen. Hopefully there is not a hole in the crotch of that tree where they are making a hive inside!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Austin, Texas, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queenless Swarm?? Possible?

    I am not concerned about a hole in the tree. it is a young burr oak and only about 3 in in diameter where they are swarmed on it. I am just trying to figure out why this swarm has remained so exposed for so long. I guess when I vac them up this afternoon I will know if there is comb beneath them, but it doesn't look like it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,194

    Default Re: Queenless Swarm?? Possible?

    It is possible for a swarm to split, 1/2 goes with the queen to the new hive location, while the other 1/2 goes to the wrong home site.
    They should return to the last place the swarm hung with the queen.
    Dan

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