Hive swarmed today 10/26 - what to do?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    cincinnati, ohio
    Posts
    206

    Default Hive swarmed today 10/26 - what to do?

    One of my top bar hives swarmed today in Cincinnati, OH. There obviously are no drones left, so the new virgin queen cannot mate. Can the hive and new queen survive through the winter so she can mate next spring or is it still too early and all the workers will all die in six weeks? If the new virgin queen does start to lay, they will all be drones. What is the best thing to do with this hive? I have two other hives. Jim

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,154

    Default Re: Hive swarmed today 10/26 - what to do?

    Rock, you, hard place. Just my two cents here. If you are absolutely sure there are no drones, pinch the virgin queen and split the bees between your other hives. I would probably wait a few weeks first just in case. The bees continually amaze me and it won't make a difference if she doesn't get mated. Back to plan A.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: Hive swarmed today 10/26 - what to do?

    It's not just that RIGHT NOW there might not be any drones... but in the case of an actual swarm (which is unlikely) they leave roughly 7-8 days before the queen cell will emerge and then she hardens and orients for about 6 days before mating. So you're talking about nearly mid-November...

    It isn't happening. I'd figure out what the issue is that made them take off.

    And the answer is no, she can't wait all winter and then go mate.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
    Posts
    747

    Default Re: Hive swarmed today 10/26 - what to do?

    Did you treat for mites?

    This is the moment when hives abscond due to high mite load, not swarm.
    I'm betting the whole hive absconded. Gone poof. no more.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,793

    Default Re: Hive swarmed today 10/26 - what to do?

    did you actually see queen cells left behind? or did they abscond, where most of them left and there are no queen cells? Don't plan on a virgin getting well mated in OH this time of year. I have a few virgin queens here in southeastern VA that are managing to find some drones, but it is extremely late for us this time of year as well.

    If you have a good number of bees left in the hive, earlier this week I heard that barnyard bees in GA still had some queens for sale.

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