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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kings Park, New York
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    14

    Default New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    Hello
    We are new beekeepers and need advice on swarming
    We just had what I think was our second swarm on one of our hives, we have 2 hives 1 was a nuc hived in late April and 1was a package hived in middle May. On the hive that swarmed before, I was not home so the next day I added a med super and removed the feeder. Today the same hive swarmed again and is high up a tree. My question is what should I do tomorrow when I go into the hive to check things out, should I remove all but one queen cell? Please advise
    Thanks Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    jackson,arkansas,usa
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    How long ago was the first swarm. I am thinking this one may bee a after swarm with a virgin queen. Which would mean you have another virgin in the hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kings Park, New York
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    14

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    The last swarm was early last week, I also opened up the entrance more
    What should my next move be?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    jackson,arkansas,usa
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    146

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    This one is probably an after swarm. So i would give the virgin a couple weeks to get hardened,orientation, and mated and laying. Then check for eggs. Should be good to again. I would pop the top and make sure they have plenty of room. But other than that i would just wait till the new queen has had time before i would do an inspection.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    jackson,arkansas,usa
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    146

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    Someone else should chime in and be able to give you more accurate timing. But in 2 weeks i think you should have eggs.

    For future swarms i like to cut or smash all but 2 qcells and have them on the same frame. Some go with 1 but Im not that brave yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kings Park, New York
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    14

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    Thanks Tank,
    I will go into hive tomorrow and see whats going on, do you think that there is a chance that they will return to the hive? and do you think that I should do anything tomorrow in regards to any cells that I might find? or just wait and see what happens ? Thanks for all your help,
    Paul

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    After a swarm, I would leave all swarm cells intact and let the bees sort it out. You would only be making a wild guess as to which of the cells would produce the best queen and you likely would have no more success than if you let the first queen hatched destroy the rest. And since I've seen some swarm cells fail to hatch, you could be dooming your hive by selecting a dud cell.

    Wayne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    jackson,arkansas,usa
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    No they won't come back to the hive if you have more boxes you should set 1 deep with frames out and reduce the entrance to about 2 inches set it in the shade about head high if possible and they may go in that box. Or if you can rock them down into a new box you can get them. I always try to leave a extra box around to give any swarm a place to go sometimes they use it.

    Wayne is correct that you have no idea which cell us a dud and which one will make the best queen. Tgats way i like to leave 2. But it has been my experience if you leave all the cells you have at least a couple afterswarms and i want to keep as many bees as i can.
    Fyi thus works the same way when you split if you kettle them make their own queen. I split one hive three ways and left all the qcells and had 4 small swarms one time. But it is up to you whether to take them down to a couple qcells or leave them all. Just giving my experience.

    I would check and make sure you still have bees in box and see that they have at least a couple frames in top box that are empty. If they are all full add a box. Other than that i would try not to disturb them too much.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    jackson,arkansas,usa
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    146

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    Give us an update when you have one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kings Park, New York
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    14

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    It has been raining all day and will be all day tomorrow so I have not had a chance to get in the hive, the swarm is still up in the tulip tree,its about 70' up on about a 8 inch wide branch so I could not even shake the branch if I could reach it. there is little activity with the weather beeing so nasty, but every now and then I see some bees going into both hives. is there something else hat I could have done to prevent this? we are trying to go into the hives once a week to check things out, but not sure if it should be so often, we were feeding once a week. we are also trying to get a local bee keeper to work with us and get some hands on experience with someone that we can bounce things off of and learn from, How long do they normaly hang out? i am assuming that the weather is keeping them there.Paul

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    jackson,arkansas,usa
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    Check out the chat room. Lots of good advice in there. The swarm could stay a minutes or for years

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,790

    Default Re: New beekeeper needs swarm advice

    Sometimes it's hard to do swarm control when you are just starting out bees, as all you have is foundation, no drawn comb. The trick is to keep room above the brood for honey storage, and foundation is not really room ready to use. You'll get better at swarm control as you gain experience and combs. When adding a box I move two combs up from the box below, to help draw the bees up into it. They then tend to move up easier and work that box. sometimes I just split the frames in the bottom, move half of them to the top. right over the half in the bottom, to one side of the hive. That seems to help too. There are several ways to work at it, you'll find your way in time.

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