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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: After collecting swarm..."extra" bees? (or does this mean I really missed the que

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your replies on this situation. It's now 3 days later, and the smaller swarm of bees that I left on the branch are still there apparently. It's about the size of a smaller football I have been told (about 1/4 or less the size of the swarm I first removed. I went and checked on the first part of the swarm that I caught earlier in the week, and which is now in new hive....they seem to be hanging around, and although I still couldn't find the queen, I would be surprised if she wasn't in there.

So, that means that the bees that I left behind and that are still swarming are probably not with a queen. They could even be just feeding on the sugar water I sprayed as you suggested. The homeowner is anxious to get rid of these remaining bees. My follow up question to you is now, if there are a substancial amount of bees left, can I use these to make another hive? I would have to buy a new queen in that case, correct? Any suggestions on what to do with these bees?
 
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