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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Knotts Island, NC
    Posts
    4

    Default My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    I live in northeastern North Carolina. Last week my neighbor informed me that there was a swarm of bees in his yard while I was at work. I was sure it wasn't my bees but an inspection of my hive proved that it was my bees. There is a handful of bees left that seem to be working hard to maintain life as usual but I am worried they are not strong enough to build themselves back up. I don't know why the rest of the bees left, but I do know I am super sad.

    This is a new hive that I just started in May of this year. They never did make any capped honey and the brood was never very healthy looking. I was always able to find the queen but I am now thinking that maybe she was not a good queen and that my bees must have made a new one and then they just packed up and left with her.

    What should I do now? How should I care for the bees that are left. They seem to be working - they come and go and there are guard bees at the front entrance which I reduced to the smallest opening. I also closed off the top entrance just to reduce the possibility of robbers or any thing else that may want to get in there and take over.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,727

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    Is there any evidence of a new queen or queen cells? Is there any uncapped brood?

    Without a queen, the remaining bees will not survive the winter. If there is a queen, most likely you will need to feed them heavily if they are to survive.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bolton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    Hi sorry to hear about the bees.
    Do you have another hive, or just the one?



    Glen

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Knotts Island, NC
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    There is some capped brood and looks like 2 queen cells. I was also wondering if I should take off the top super and just keep the brood one on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Knotts Island, NC
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    Just the one - My plans are to move up to 2 hives next spring.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    if you can catch the swarm,, do so and treat it as NEW hive,, FEED FEED FEED the remaining hive

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    really the only thing you can do is wait and see if the new queen gets mated after she hatches. Most likely everything will be fine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Knotts Island, NC
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    Thank you everyone! This is definitely a major learning experience. I am going into the hive today. Going to feed some super heavy sugar syrup and hope for the best

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,194

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    I know it is heartbreaking to loose your bees but I wouldn't put the effort into a hand full of bees that remain from a non producing hive.

    Try again next spring. Stay on BS so maybe you can learn if it was something you did or did not do that set the hive back in the first place. If you bought these bees from someone try someone else next time unless the person / company is willing to make a deal on replacement.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by kigirl62 View Post
    and the brood was never very healthy looking.
    With an apparent underlying problem…and the lateness of the season….one must wonder if this was a swarm or an abscond. With an abscond, conditions within the nest have become intolerable and the bees abandon it.
    Was this hive started from a package or nuc?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    I know how disappointing a loss in the beginning can be. although the hive may not have nuch of a chance. It certainly will not hurt to make efforts to do what you can. if all else fails you will learn a lot from the experience.
    Inspect the remaining hive well consolidate it to a single deep. leaving every frame that has stores in the hive with brood in the center. the queen will be some 30 days from egg to laying so you are certainly presses by time. and will go into winter with a bee count that will most likely not be strong enough to overwinter. feed, feed and feed some more, shelter the hive from wind and make sure it gets plenty of sun. I have see the winters in Virginia beach hold off until December. So although slight there is a chance. You have nothing to loose but you time and some heartache.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,727

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    I agree with Tenbears. If you just give up as post #9 recommends, you will have learned very little more than you do presently.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,061

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    Sounds like an abscond to me. The only bees left are newly hatched bees and foragers that returned late to the party if only a handful of bees remain. What do you mean the brood was never healthy looking?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: My bees just swarmed....now what do I do?

    Kigirl, are there any other beekeepers around you? How about a beekeeping club?

    If you can find someone local ask them to take a look. If you can develop a relationship with a local beekeeper you might be able to get a frame or two of brood with the attendant bees to help boost the numbers for your upcoming winter.

    The most important thing is for you to survive your disappointment!

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