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Discussion Starter #1
Just a little background..I purchased 3 packages of NWCarnies and hived 4/19. Set out 3 bait hives middle of May around our six acres(2 cardboard nuc boxes with old frames and lemongrass oil in close proximity and one 10 frame hive box with some old frames and a majority of new and lemongrass oil) Came home on Friday 5/30 and dtr asked if I had bought more bees..there were bees everywhere and in every box(was clearly not expecting this). These were not huge swarms(I have included photos) ...2 were bigger than one of them. I rehived one of the cardboard nucs into a 10 framer last week and still have the smallest swarm in a cardboard nuc box until I get my new woodenware. I am suspicious that one of my packages may have swarmed, but not sure as it had a supersedure cell the middle of May. I checked it yesterday and it has that queenless roar and not as many bees and what appears to be another queen cell with larva in it.
Anyway some questions(as I am collecting opinions/suggestions to further add to my confusion;):

1) If all of these are perhaps afterswarms and they are virgin queens how long until I see brood(should the queen go out, mate and make it back)..perhaps a month?

2) Would it be better to add eggs/brood from one of my strong queen right package hives to the presumed queenless(I mean there could be a virgin queen in there that I am not seeing) OR should I take the small swarm in the cardboard nuc...do a newspaper combine(add third 10 frame deep to the queenless hive) and hope the virgin queen can save it OR add the eggs/brood from strong hive to the queenless and then hive the swarm hoping to build it into a strong colony?

Swarm 1.jpg Swarm 2.jpg Swarm 3.jpg Swarm 4.jpg

What would you do? Thanks!
 

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re 1) I'd give the virgin queen swarm a week. The virgin queen was fit enough for flying, but will now need a good weather day and drones available in the DCA to get mated. She may fly a couple days for mating, then will fatten up and start laying. So give her a week from when the swarm moved in before looking for eggs. Since eggs are hard to see, wait another 4 days (11-13 since swarm moved in) and look for the easier to see larvae.

Michael Bush has a lot of good info at his site on swarms. Definitely worth a read depending on whether you want to encourage or discourage swarms.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm

re 2) If your queen-right hive has plenty of brood frames I would give one frame of brood (ideally a mixture of eggs, larvae, capped workers, and a honey/ bee bread band of stores along the top of the frame. Depending on the strength of the parent hive you may or may not wish to take the nurse bees currently on the frame. Just do try to NOT take the queen from the queen-right hive.

Having brood to raise will be a strong incentive for the bees to remain in the hive rather than perhaps abscond. If the queen doesn't get mated or is lost to a predator the bees can raise an emergency queen from the eggs/larvae.
 

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