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Thread: Nuc Swarmed!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
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    187

    Default Nuc Swarmed!

    I grafted cells for some 5 frame nucs on April 5. One of my nucs swarmed today. It was on day 28 of its cycle. I caught it and put it in another nuc box.
    I found the nuc box it swarmed from. There were very few bees left in it, lots of pollen and honey. Missing were any eggs, larvae
    or sealed brood except two sealed queen cells! My question is how and why did they swarm?? And if you are suppose to stay out of the
    nucs until day 34 (per queen rearing calendar) how do you keep the nuc from filling up the box with pollen and honey and then swarming??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    You can (at least I do) ck the outer frames of a nuc, just don't get into the middle frames. If you force the virgin to fly before she has taken her orientation flight, she might not make it back. Maybe you started the nuc w/ to much bees and brood? In either case I've switched out full frames before w/o a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    Yeah, I think you are correct about making it up too strong.
    But what I don't understand is where did they get those eggs for the queen cells?
    I started the nuc with a queen cell. That queen should only be on day 28. She would have
    had to emerge, get mated, lay the 2 eggs, then swarm when they got capped..
    Strange for sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    You maybe missed the eggs, a master bk that I hang w/ says the bees will make every effort to hang onto their own genes, the girls probably wanted a couple more. Maybe they're empty & they built em out of flustration, they do what they want, sometimes it's like herding cats LOL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    They didn't swarm. They absconded. They were probably looking for a larger house.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
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    187

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    Thanks all but how do you stop absconding?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,554

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    >Thanks all but how do you stop absconding?

    Absconding is about conditions like too small, too large, too many pests, too much messing with the hive etc. If you saw it coming, a frame of open brood would probably have done it. A bigger box might have done it....
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    After thinking about this entire situation I agree Mike is 100% correct for absconding. Mike, can I assume if the nuc absconded that they have a queen? It is time to check the colony to see if
    they are queenright or not. But I don't want to disturb them so soon after absconding. Would they abscond without a queen?
    If they don't have a queen I will need to supply them with one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    Absconding hives usually have a queen. If they didn't they would just dwindle and die...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    Thanks Michael. I will assume they have a queen and let them go another week to check them again.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Blacksburg Va USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Nuc Swarmed!

    The bees didnt read that part of the calendar.. so they left looking for better surrooundings. Too congested. Never follow any thing to the letter that Books say. Remember bees cant read, they do what they want to.

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