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Thread: is this unusual

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    253

    Default is this unusual

    fifth year beekeeping so still seeing new things all the time. I requeened a hive that had swarmed with a new queen that I purchased, checked after a few days and she was laying eggs so all seemed good. This afternoon, wife says whats going on with the bees, turn around and the hive is swarming ! they took the new queen and basically all but a handful of bees and swarmed (maybe absconded is a better word). is this unusual, anything I could have done to prevent it from happening? i am thinking of destroying the comb in the hive they left in case there is something in there that caused them to leave...
    Last edited by Hawkster; 06-01-2013 at 07:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: is this unusual

    Did you remove queen cells, open up the broodnest and put a super on? If you didn't do all three then the conditions in the hive tell the bees that is it still a good time to swarm. So it was just like an after swarm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Rowley, MA
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    253

    Default Re: is this unusual

    yes there were no swarm cells and not many bees left when i added the queen, maybe they were just bitten with the travel bug

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default Re: is this unusual

    Could you have missed a queen cell? I've never had a new introduced queen that just start laying swarm?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: is this unusual

    i was wondering the same and went over the hive again which was only a single deep. pretty much all of the bees left with the queen so that was pretty easy to do. I caught the swarm and sure enough my queen was in the middle of it so no loss, was just very surprised, no beetles or other vermin to speak of, very strange

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: is this unusual

    Was the brood nest still back filled with nectar? Even a small Nuc will swarm if the brood nest is full of nectar.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: is this unusual

    That could be it, one frame was full of eggs the others partially full of nectar. Should I have shaken that out or put in some empty frames?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: is this unusual

    When they swarmed I would have added another box and moved a few of the outside frames up to the center. I would also find the edge of the brood nest and insert a new frame on each side. This is because there is often still a lot of young wax making bees left behind and with little brood to tend the foragers quickly fill the remaining empty space. The wax making uses up nectar and also provides more space to store nectar.

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