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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Savannah, GA, USA
    Posts
    21

    Default 2 Queenless Swarms Advice Needed

    So I check on my 2 hives yesterday. Again I am still having problems. They both are caught swarms and I am a first year rookie.

    Hive 1:

    No queen ended up with laying workers. Did a shake out and that seemed to do the trick. I bought a queen, they released her and swarmed (because of ants) 4-5 days later. I caught them back. 8 days later (Thursday) I checked on them and found a capped queen cell. Yesterday still no sign of eggs or brood. Bees covering the capped queen cell and very protective of it.

    Hive 2:

    This swarm was caught 2 weeks ago yesterday. Very small in numbers. They have drawn some comb and have put pollen and nectar in but no signs of eggs or brood.

    I cannot find the queen in either one. I was thinking of combining the two hives and hoping for the best with the queen cell in in hive one. What do you think? If I do combine can I just move them over or will they fight? Newspaper combine? I have no other resources and I do not want to get into a laying worker situation.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,789

    Default Re: 2 Queenless Swarms Advice Needed

    Since you are not positive of the queen situation in at least one of them, do a newspaper combine, the bees will figure things out. One stronger hive is better than two weaker hives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Savannah, GA, USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: 2 Queenless Swarms Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Since you are not positive of the queen situation in at least one of them, do a newspaper combine, the bees will figure things out. One stronger hive is better than two weaker hives.
    Thanks. Should I wait for the virgin queen to emerge (should be Wed-Fri) or just go ahead and do the combine now?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    647

    Default Re: 2 Queenless Swarms Advice Needed

    Hard when your new, BUT you have to learn to leave swarms alone for the first week or two for primary swarms and 3 or 4 weeks for secondary swarms.

    Swarms are almost never queen-less but you have to give the queen time to start laying again, or the virgin queen time to get mated and start laying. (They wouldn't have swarmed in the first place if they didn't have a queen).


    Remember, when in doubt you are generally better off doing nothing. (Paraphrasing Michael Bush quoting some long ago dead guy. )

    To answer your question on what to do now, No, I would leave them separate for another 2 weeks to give queen/hive #2 time to get mated and start laying. By keeping them separate now you have two chances of coming up with a laying queen, and if you combine them now the #2 queen/hive will likely kill and tear down the queen cell in you 1st hive.



    Good luck. ....Don

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