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After collecting swarm..."extra" bees? (or does this mean I really missed the queen?)

4552 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  mike haney
After collecting swarm..."extra" bees? (or does this mean I really missed the queen?)

Hi everyone,

This has got to be the best beekeeping forum on the internet, I can't stop reading it :). I'm a newbie beekeeper and have a question about collecting swarmed bees. I collected a wild swarm today, which was located about 8 feet off the ground in an apple tree. I am 90% sure I got the queen, as I was able to bump/brush most of the bees off the branch into my bucket. After collecting most of the bees, and I was taping up the brood box for the drive home, I noticed that some of the bees that had been flying about while I was doing this had resettled on the branch in a much smaller bunch, but I wasn't too worried about getting these as well.

It was a nice apple tree...I couldn't really just cut off the branch :)

The homeowner called me later in the day, and told me that this mini-swarm was still there, and had grown a bit larger as well, probably when more bees settled back down on the branch. I am not too worried about having missed the queen, but my question is, are these bees sticking around in a mini-swarm just because the pheremones from the queen are still in this area? (or, perhaps all the sugar water I sprayed). Is this normal, and do beekeepers sometimes leave these extra bees if they can't get them all (I didn't have time to leave the brood box for them to crawl in). Lastly, will this mini-swarm break up and dissapear shortly? What happens to these now queenless bees?

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this!
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Re: After collecting swarm..."extra" bees? (or does this mean I really missed the que

The very same thing is currently happening to me. Two days ago, I had a state trooper telling me a swarm of bees had settled into a man's tree in his front yard. I know the man and called him. I gathered up my equipment and bucket and off I went. I got the largest part of the swarm as I posted two days ago.

Well, this morning, I got a call from the man saying a baseball/tennis ball size cluster of bees had gathered on the same branch. I told him that it was the bees that were airborne as well as the scouts that had been searching for a new home. I am very confident I got the queen.

Personally, I don't want to chase baseball/tennis ball size groups of bees.

Good luck.
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