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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Waynesville, GA, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Swarm left hive then flew back to hive 10 minutes later?

    swarm 4 23.jpgToday while working outside I heard a swarm and observed the bees leaving a hive. A large swarm formed and they flew/got blown around by the wind for aprox ten minutes without getting more than 100 yards from the hive. They then all flew back to the hive and covered the front of the hive. I have never had this happen and I am unsure what to do? I put a bait hive directly on top of the hive they are now on. The bees don't seem interested at all in the bait hive, Any ideas? Went into this hive 2 weeks ago and it appeared to be doing fine. Had room to grow and did not have a lot of honey put up. I have 9 hives and have had 7 or 8 witnessed swarms in the last 60 days!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Swarm left hive then flew back to hive 10 minutes later?

    That sounds as if it were either a Pre-Swarm (queen gets oriented and house bees do too) or possibly a mating flight of a new queen. In two weeks they could have superseded the old queen and normally when she leaves the hive they will (swarm out) to help her get out of the hive safely on her way. Keep an eye open this may happen again in a day or two. If it does it's mating swarm, if not they will end up on a branch someplace instead.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Swarm left hive then flew back to hive 10 minutes later?

    That same thing happened to me Sunday, and they officially swarmed- at the same exact time of day- on Monday!
    I thought it was just some random odd behavior. As drlonzo said, that sounds like a pre-swarm, now that I know what one looks like.

    As for the mating flight, I don't think I've witnessed one.

    I would definitely have that bait hive ready just in case.

    I don't know if placing it on their hive will keep them there, if they're on the move, there's no stopping their relocation plans.

    My bees went waaaaaaay up into a treetop, not too far from their original hive. I've got my trap in that tree, under them.
    man, have I learned a lot in 2 days.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Jamie D; 04-23-2014 at 06:24 PM. Reason: additional info

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Swarm left hive then flew back to hive 10 minutes later?

    Had the same thing happen here a week or so ago and then again today from the same hive. The swarm clustered in a crabapple tree about seven or eight feet off the ground. I got my new hive, drop cloth, extension pole and swarm capture bucket and proceeded to pour them into and in front of the hive. Most went into the hive then 30 minutes later they are back on the front of the original hive and the new hive is empty. I had drawn comb and one frame of honey in the hive but they still left.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Waynesville, GA, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Swarm left hive then flew back to hive 10 minutes later?

    They stayed on the front of the hive until late yesterday afternoon. I went back out to check and they were gone?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Swarm left hive then flew back to hive 10 minutes later?

    The crazy hive swarmed again today (4/25) about 945 am after thunderstorms last night and a cloudy, humid morning. They went to the same limb on the crab apple tree like before. This time the swarm was larger and they are staying in the new hive for now. They weren't real friendly either, got stung once on the left hand and they were in my face the whole time I was catching them. We'll see if they stay in the new hive this time or leave and go back to the original hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: Swarm left hive then flew back to hive 10 minutes later?

    I would treat them like a swarm, scoop them up put them in a box with a frame of brood.

    Other wise they will just leave in a day or two.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    648

    Default Re: Swarm left hive then flew back to hive 10 minutes later?

    Sometimes for one reason or another a swarm won't stay in the new hive you give them. I've learned if they abandon a new hive once they will again, you have got to change something to get them to stay. I generally start over with a completely different hive setup and change it's location.

    Don

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