I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Colts Neck, NJ
    Posts
    47

    Question I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!

    I was at a concert when my wife called me and told me there was excessive bee activity in one of my hives.

    She said there was bees in the air flying in the thousands. If you took a snapshot, it would look like bees “snowing down” on you is what she told me.

    She yanked the lid and put a super on with foundation and then the bees settled down pretty quickly.

    She said there were tons of bees in both deep boxes.

    I then came home 2 hours later to see what was going on.

    When I went in, the new super had hundreds of bees on almost all 10 frames working away.

    The deeps when I went in; full of bees. The heft of the hive feels like I’m moving a boulder

    What’s the next step to see if they did indeed swarm out?

    And if they did swarm, where do I go from here?
    Clark Westfied 1st year beekeeper
    Bass player

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,483

    Default Re: I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!

    First step is figure out if they swarmed. I’ve had hives take to the air sometimes, no reason that I’ve seen sorta like a fire drill I guess.
    Swarm cells present? If so sealed or unsealed. If unsealed and there’s eggs the swarm might’ve got cancelled out at the last minute and you still have a chance to pull the queen and make a start before they’re in the trees.
    If no cells are present, make sure the brood nest is not getting backfilled and there’s plenty of room for the queen to lay. Extract some frames and open up the nest if needed.
    Rod

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Colts Neck, NJ
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!

    Well, the brood nest box 1 and 2 are tight. Packed with honey and brood.

    When you say pull the queen? Can you clarify?
    Clark Westfied 1st year beekeeper
    Bass player

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Colts Neck, NJ
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!

    Should I pull 2 few honey frames out and put in 2 empty frames?

    I only have foundation, no full frames drawn.

    The just freeze the honey frames for winter feed or spring startup?
    Clark Westfied 1st year beekeeper
    Bass player

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Milford, Michigan USA
    Posts
    293

    Default Re: I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!

    As rwlaw suggested the first thing you need to do is check for swarm cells. If you find capped cells than there is a good chance they swarmed. Look for the queen if you can not find her then you need to decide whether to purchase a queen and tear down the cells or take your chances on a successful queen cell process. This late in the year I would look for a queen to purchase. You can wait a couple days and check for eggs and larva before deciding what to do.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Colts Neck, NJ
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!

    Went in today and found the queen in the 2nd deep box.

    No swarm cells. Who knows what my wife saw.
    Clark Westfied 1st year beekeeper
    Bass player

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,718

    Default Re: I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!

    Orientation flight? Could easily be 1000+ bees at one time.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,483

    Default Re: I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!

    Ya, the hives can get kinda frenzied during orientation flights. It’s good that it isn’t getting swarmy on you.
    Rod

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,760

    Default Re: I think today my bees swarmed today. Now confused!

    I vote for orientation too, but if they are packed, give them some room.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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