How long until new swarm decides to stay put and draw comb?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    21

    Default How long until new swarm decides to stay put and draw comb?

    Midday on Friday , a swarm settled on the outside of my trap and stayed there all day. Around dusk , I decided to take the box down and shake them into a hive with an entrance guard to prevent them from leaving. There was a flurry of activity late Saturday afternoon and I spotted the queen trying to wiggle through the bars. Today there was less activity and the bees are clustered. I am a new beekeeper with some questions.

    1. How long will it take for them to settle and draw comb ?
    2. Should I install a feeder?
    3. How can I deterermine if this is a virgin queen or a mated queen?
    4. When should I remove the entrance guard?
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Glen Arm,MD
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: How long until new swarm decides to stay put and draw comb?

    this is only my 4th year with bees so take my opinion for what its worth. Swarms are comb building machines, they will start right away. if a flow is on they should be ok without a feeder.The primary swarm has the old queen. i wouldn't worry wether she is a virgin or not, just check them in a week or so to look for signs of a queen. what is the entrance guard for, mice? You can take that off

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,837

    Default Re: How long until new swarm decides to stay put and draw comb?

    I put frames in all my traps - that way the swarm can stay in the trap until they have built some comb - and then there is no need to shake them into a full size hive since you can just move the frames.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: How long until new swarm decides to stay put and draw comb?

    The entrance guard is a modified excluder cut to cover the entrance of the hive. The swarm was still scouting other bait hives at this location and seemed intent on leaving so I locked the queen in

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: How long until new swarm decides to stay put and draw comb?

    It worked as I saw her trying to leave the hive but she couldn't fit. The bait hive did have frames in it but as a new beekeeper with only one NUC I didn't want to miss the opportunity or experience of putting the swarm in a hive!!! Today I saw some bees bringing in pollen so perhaps they decided to stay. How long should I wait before opening the hive? If the queen was a Virgin when should I remove the excluder ?
    Thanks for the replies

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