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Discussion Starter #1
If a primary swarm often leaves when the swarm cells are capped, how long does an afterswarm wait? That is, wouldn't any virgin that leaves with an afterswarm need to mature for a few days in the parent hive before she could fly? I read posts about egg laying in swarms with virgin queens, but many are using bee math that include the virgin emerging, and maturing, then mating before one should see eggs. Wouldn't the virgin have done everything, but mate (and sometimes even that) BEFORE swarming?
 

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I have seen after swarms in as little as 3 days after the prime swarm, but it is usually 7 to 9 days afterwards.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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You can say what is typical or what range you've seen, but there are no fixed timetables because the weather affects how soon the first queen leaves and often how soon the next queen leaves. TYPICALLY, the swarm leaves about the time the first queen cell is capped (sometimes earlier and sometimes later), so typically the first virgin emerges eight days later. She may be able to fly within 24 hours or it may take her a few days to harden. Meanwhile the next virgin is ready to emerge but the bees confine her and protect the cells from the first virgin. Finally the weather and the maturity of the queen etc. come together and the first afterswarm leaves. If they feel the need, they release the next oldest queen and sometime later (that day or a few days later) she leaves with another swarm. This repeats until they feel the population is small enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. As the possessor of a small swarm I suspect came with a virgin, I've been reading about timing with regards to egg laying. Most of the posts regarding looking for eggs in HIVED swarms still reference bee math as if the virgin were one in the parent hive, as in a supercedure or introduced virgin cell. It just seem like that timing is off for a swarm that had a virgin emerge, swarm, be captured, then hived, a process which could last days or more in total.
 
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