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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Posts
    47

    Default Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    I was in this TBH on Saturday and didn't see anything unusual. I did not it was packed full of bees and had a good amount of honey. I didn't do a full inspection. Maybe I shouldn't have. The last few days I noticed a lot of activity from this hive, but I thought it was because the goldenrod was in bloom. Well, today I was out watching this hive and I noticed this small swarm settle directly above me. It is very small and too high up for me to safely get to. Bummer.

    DSC_0013.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    UPDATE: I just went back outside and they were gone. It looks like they all went back to the hive? This is what I saw them do yesterday. Are they getting ready to full blown swarm on me?DSC_0015.jpgDSC_0016.jpgDSC_0017.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    Was the old queen marked? Queen cells in hive?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    i have seen small swarms like this issue in the fall and was told by those more experienced than me that what was happening was late season supercedure. the small swarm is likely the failing queen with a handful of loyal followers.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    High varroa numbers will also cause swarms in August/September. Check the brood pattern and look for uncapped pupa with pink eyes, or the head removed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i have seen small swarms like this issue in the fall and was told by those more experienced than me that what was happening was late season supercedure. the small swarm is likely the failing queen with a handful of loyal followers.
    I hope so and I hope I don't lose many bees.. The queen has been laying great all year long.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    too many bees can be almost as bad as not enough. bees will adjust their numbers up and down in response to the changing seasons and to optimize the space in their cavity. i tend to trust their decisions in that regard.

    the brood that is being reared at this time of year is fed extra well so that the bees can live longer and make it through winter. the bigger concern over not enough bees is the quality of the new queen (if they have made one).
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    Mating/orientation flight of superseding virgin. Happened to one of hives about 3 weeks ago.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i have seen small swarms like this issue in the fall and was told by those more experienced than me that what was happening was late season supercedure. the small swarm is likely the failing queen with a handful of loyal followers.
    This seems to be what had happened. I just checked and the bee that swarmed to the tree branch are now down to about 25 bees. I can't tell if the queen is in there.

    So with this being my first year, what is going on in the hive? Does that mean there is a new mated queen? Should I open the hive and check or wait a week or so?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    i used to wait a week after swarming to check for eggs, but i found this was too soon in some cases. now i usually wait 2-3 weeks. in the spring when they are in full bore reproductive swarm mode, it's possible to put a stethoscope to the hive and hear several different virgins piping. eventually the piping stops when there is only one queen left.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,497

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Broglea View Post
    This seems to be what had happened. I just checked and the bee that swarmed to the tree branch are now down to about 25 bees. I can't tell if the queen is in there.

    So with this being my first year, what is going on in the hive? Does that mean there is a new mated queen? Should I open the hive and check or wait a week or so?
    I wouldn't worry about. If that was the virgin, she won't start laying for atleast a week. During superseder the old queen generally sticks around (2 queens) until the new queen is evaulated. Eventually the bees quick feeding one, kill her or kick her out.

    I would wait 10 days.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,127

    Default Re: Didn't see this coming. Now what?

    It doesn't look like very many bees in that cluster. I wouldn't worry too much.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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