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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I had a swarm recently during this summer dearth here in North Carolina. Wyatt Mangum watched a usurpation swarm invade an observation colony and saw that the invading bees balled their own queen along with the invaded colony's queen. But their own invading queen was fine after balling, the invaded queen was killed from the balling. Here are videos of the small summer dearth swarm that I saw recently, they ball their queens, but don't kill them.


I have had a colony usurped during the summer dearth a few years ago. The invading queen was a black queen, marked on the thorax with a yellow spot. So I know that it came from a neighbor's bee colony. That queen was probably mated? I read about supercedure swarms in a queen rearing book that said that the bees would make supercedure cells before sending off the mother queen as a swarm. Could that be a "primary" usurpation swarm, and the one in my videos an "after" (more than one queen) usurpation swarm, like with primary and after swarms that you would get normally in the Spring bee reproduction season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOaMGpu-TaQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH2RGNp0M4M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbw4hxaMETY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9eJMHbUhTc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_mSQJ1EPuk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgnI-xhbI-U
 

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I think the guy of Barnyard bees had a similar video where apparently several swarms joined as there was something like 9 queens in the swarm, several of them marked and bees balling queens. He saved a few but some of them were either dead or fairly beat up.
 

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Interesting topic...I recently opened a colony to see if the emerged queen was laying, she was, but to my surprise they were balling her. I closed the hive back up as quickly as I could and made a note. I checked back a couple of weeks later the colony was booming and the Queen was just fine going about her business. So maybe sometimes they do it to protect the queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting topic...I recently opened a colony to see if the emerged queen was laying, she was, but to my surprise they were balling her. I closed the hive back up as quickly as I could and made a note. I checked back a couple of weeks later the colony was booming and the Queen was just fine going about her business. So maybe sometimes they do it to protect the queen.
That is interesting Calkal! Did the queen that survive the balling have any signs of damage or was she okay after the balling?
 

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I did not look for visible signs of damage but the colony was absolutely screaming so I took that to mean everything was good.
 
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