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Thread: Mini swarms

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    546

    Default Mini swarms

    I can been by a trailer park twice now to get swarms of bees. These turned out to be clusters of about a cup or two of bees, no queen and they seem to be very quick to move inside the RVs (within an hour or two). Then they spread out across the windows and die (or get vacuumed up). This last group was dying within an hour or so, but were not sprayed by the RV owner (she wants me to save the bees. They had this issue last year multiple times in the small place.

    Why would small clusters like this appear and die? What causes them to leave the hive or have them been left behind?
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 3 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Elizabethton, Tn
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Mini swarms

    If i were a betting man, I'd say they are probably in a wall of said RV. Then again, I don't bet.
    It takes a family to raise a family, it takes a village to really screw that up... Djei5

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Mini swarms

    Don't think so. The first time they appeared this spring was on one RV, owner is an old bee keeper, so he just sprayed the sides and undercarriage with a water hose on mist to make the bees leave. So they moved to the RV whose owner called me.

    I stayed around her RV for more than 30 minutes, and only bees I could see were inside, lol, but nothing was flying in and out that I thought indicated a hive in the wall.

    I put up a swarm trap in the area on Friday hoping it would draw something. Just a medium with old comb, don't have enough spare gear this year to really worry much about swarm trapping. Will drag over a second medium and extra frames today.

    The second RV owner had a more bees appear on Sunday, about the same number and they showed up inside very quickly. Doomed to the vacuum. Then both RV owners texted me after dark saying the swarm trap was covered.

    Not sure I want the ones from inside the RV, they were dying on the window sill and of course, everything that was vacuumed died as well. Likely too much force in the vacuum.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 3 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Mini swarms

    Well the swarm moved into the hive, just a medium nuc, but since it appeared to have been a small swarm they got a small nuc. They have about 1/3 of a frame of comb built and they were starting to store honey. I didn't check the old comb I used as lure, just peeked in. Was thinking I would try to grab them on Friday or Saturday evening.

    Is there a time I should let them stay in the hive before moving just so they get established well and do not abandon it?

    Then stumbled into a person today that has 4 hives they want removed from a camp. I might be out of gear real fast. So much for planning for 3 hives and now have 6 with 5 other potentials. Yikes.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 3 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: Mini swarms

    >Why would small clusters like this appear and die?

    AHB swarm a lot and afterswarm a lot. The afterswarms are often small. Small swarms struggle, but sometimes they survive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Mini swarms

    Michael - Thanks, I didn't even consider that potential issue. Have read that and even told people that, but it just didn't come into my thinking.

    They will get the far corner of my property and be on the queen pinch list if I see any aggressive tendencies this summer.

    Thanks again.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 3 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

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