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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Limestone, TN
    Posts
    67

    Default Swarms Returning to Hive???? TWICE...

    Hello,
    I am just a second year beekeeper...last year was really no problem...just a lot of learning and letting the new packages settle in. As I'm sure ALL of you know.....second year brings in a whole new school...swarms! Our weather was horrible throughout all of March...cold, windy, rainy, a few snowflakes, just nasty. The first pretty day in April one of my colonies took off in a HUGE swarm. I got it back and started a new colony. The parent hive has swarmed three more times since then, but that is for another topic.

    The swarm I caught stayed two nights and on the third day took right off again. I caught it again and placed it in the box again, sealed up the entrance for 24 or so hours, fed them. The second time I was pretty sure I did not get the queen because a very small part of the swarm went higher into the tree and stayed, presumably with the queen (too high for me). The swarm that I caught was approx. a half of a 5-gallon bucket full. In that box I put a frame of nice brood and also a frame with brood and 2 capped queen cells. That was April 7 and seems they decided to stay...HOWEVER...

    Three days ago a small swarm came out of that hive, swarmed on a nearby tree (about 20 yards away). I called a friend to see if she wanted the swarm (I am now out of equipment from accommodating swarms). Right after I hung up, the swarm returned to the hive and stayed. The next day was rain and wind. Yesterday, a medium sized swarm flew out of that hive again, this time about 50 yards away and landed about 40-50 feet high in a cherry tree. No way to get it so I waved bye, bye. About 15 minutes later, they all flew back home and marched into the hive like a carpet. Within only a few minutes, the colony was as calm as could be. Today, cold...rain...wind, everyone staying in the hive. But, for all of this week, they have stayed in a cluster near the entrance...other colonies are staying flatter, working around their hive. I have a feeling they are gonna take off again, weather permitting...

    So...WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THESE BEES THAT COME BACK????

    Thanks for any help/opinions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Saint John, Indiana
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Swarms Returning to Hive???? TWICE...

    Its possible that the swarms are taking off, but the queen isn't getting the memo and isn't leaving the hive. I have heard of this happening. False swarms because the queen wont or can't leave. The bees realize she isn't there and go back. So that is a possibility.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Limestone, TN
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Swarms Returning to Hive???? TWICE...

    It was so very, very odd. And, it's not something that I just "thought" might have happened, I actually saw the whole thing! The bees poured out of the hive, swirled all around my pasture area, swirled over a horse pen, landed high up in that tree. It was a sizable swarm. About 15-20 minutes later, they flew off that tree, swirled all in the air again, across the same horse pen, across the same pasture area and into the hive like a carpet. It was about the same thing the first time, but a smaller amount of bees. I'm guessing they will bail again tomorrow if the sun shows itself. I left those two capped queen cells in there and was thinking maybe both survived and one is taking off...I've tried to look on the landing board and ground for a dead queen (in case they duked it out inside), but I haven't found anything (weather has been really bad for searching though).

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