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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Posts
    2

    Default Why did my bees swarm?

    I am new to beekeeping and I live in Kenya so my conditions are probably different to most. However, we've had rains and it is our swarming season at the moment. We recently transferred a small colony from an old Kenya Top Bar Hive into a new one and after a week they were moved to a new location. The colony has been in situ for about a month during which time I did one inspection. The other day the colony swarmed and my first impression is that they were absconding for some reason. Shortly after they clustered it rained and they flew back into the hive and the following morning I opened the hive to find out if I could find any reason for them to abscond. As I said it's still a small nuc they have only 5 bars occupied, I found plenty of capped and uncapped brood, there is still lots of space in empty comb cells, they have good pollen stores and recently made comb seems to be full of honey but not capped yet. I found the remains of and old queen cell in the centre of a comb but with my inexperience I was unable to locate a queen. Later that day they swarmed again but the hive is still occupied so they have not absconded.

    Can anyone perhaps shed some light as to possibly why such a small colony would choose to divide when all the reasons I've read about i.e. overcrowded, lack of space for queen to lay eggs, lack of stores seem not to be the case?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,679

    Default Re: Why did my bees swarm?

    Welcome to Beesource!

    I have no experience with bees in Africa, but my understanding is that you may dealing with a somewhat different honeybee species than most Beesource members:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_bee

    Note especially the comments in the page above about swarm behavior.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Why did my bees swarm?

    Many thanks for the reply and for the reference at least that gives me a clue as to what to look into further.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Welcome to Beesource!

    I have no experience with bees in Africa, but my understanding is that you may dealing with a somewhat different honeybee species than most Beesource members:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_bee

    Note especially the comments in the page above about swarm behavior.

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