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Thread: Mini swarm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    566

    Default Mini swarm

    Had a farmer tell me yesterday he had two swarms on his place this weekend. When I went by this afternoon one was gone and the second was about the size an orange. They had started building a small piece of comb about 1 inch long and only 3 cells tall. Just slid them off the rotten wood on the top of the hole they were in and into a box. There was no queen with them, think there was about 1/3 drones.

    Is this what is left of a hive that lost a queen?

    Combining it with my single hive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,042

    Thumbs Up Re: Mini swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    ...Is this what is left of a hive that lost a queen?

    Combining it with my single hive.
    It is possible there is no queen in that ball of bees. I would be looking for a virgin queen in a small swarm if a large mated queen did not stand out during the first look. A virgin queen in a group of bees you combine with another hive can kill an established queen. At this time of year, it might be difficult for a hive to recover from the loss of a laying queen. Lets hope there are no queens at all in that small swarm. HTH

    P.S.
    I have seen small swarms without any queen, and as many as three virgin queens plus a mated queen (have heard of more queens than that in a big swarm). Usually, a small swarm without a queen will go back into the hive in a few hours.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

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