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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got this queen 1 year ago (April). I do recall her bees bearding a lot last year. didn't think much about it as it was early summer.
But they are doing it again. It is March 30. East Texas - plums, pears, peaches have already bloomed.
She was strong going into the winter and strong coming out in a double 8fr deep.
Currently she has the double deep - plus 3 mediums (I added the last one this week) because of the bearding - just to be safe.

So - why now ?? Why aren't they all out working all the time like the other hives - while the flow is on.??

Lazy bees ??

Sometimes they seem to be all out working. But often they are just sitting around sunning in the sun. Several 70 days lately.
50's at night.

Thought about giving a frame of capped brood from them to a swarm that arrived last week.
BUT - if they are just lazy - not helpful to the swarm.

At least they are not aggressive like one of my hives I'm currently downsizing. (that hive has superceded and I have her on hold while I wait to see if honey producer hive splits take or not - did the splits to stop swarming - lots of queen cells in big hive)

Thank you
 

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I have noticed the same thing in one of my hive. I would like to know why as well!

FYI: My bearding hive has no queen. I removed the queen 2 weeks ago to force them in to high gear for honey collection. They have been packing nectar and drawing lots of combs. So your case may not necessarily indicate swarm prep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hope they don't want to swarm - she came to me clipped - I don't like that.

Mother nature is going to want the bees to swarm at times I understand that.

To make her not be able to fly or fly much won't stop the urge - but can make it near impossible to survive.

Trees here are 30' - 80' tall or more.
 

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Natilie, it looks like you and pjigar need to do inspections. If you have hive bearding in 70 degree weather it is probable that you have swarming developing.

You should have all your queens clipped, not to stop the urge to swarm, but to give you time to react to finding the beginning of queen cells. As for losing a queen that jumps out into the grass, it's better to lose just the queen than to lose both queen and the swarm.

pjigar, if you removed your queen two weeks ago you may have one or more virgins emerged, or about to emerge. This means you can have a swarm issue with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
AR

Thought the inspection I did couple weeks ago was fine as they were not acting like that then. Warmer now.

Now a deeper more thorough inspection looking for the beginnings of queen cells or capped queen cells would be a good thing to do. Maybe that is the answer to their actions.

As for losing a queen instead of a swarm - that is why I split my honey producer 4 ways early this month when she had both swarm and queen cells in several of her boxes (1 deep 4 mediums). I didn't want to lose her. So far it appears 3 took.

Still new - 3rd summer - 7 into winter - 7 came out - IPM definitely - should have been born in Missouri. grin

Thank you
 

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2 weeks is way to long between inspections, you need to be in there every 9-10 days at this time to manage swarming.
bet it's to late...
 

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Yeah, they can go from "looks just fine" to swarming time in a week if you don't know all the swarm prep signs before queen cells. If you haven't looked at the brood nest in 2 weeks it could be full and nothing to do but wait for the swarming. Just because you add boxes on top, that doen't mean they take it as more room to fill before swarming. If they filled the portion they determined to be the brood nest and capped it with a honey dome, it's time to go.
 

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In the spring I tip up and look under each one of my brood boxes every five or six days to make none are making cells. This is in addition to any inspections needed for other reasons.

Tipping the boxes up is easier on both me and the bees. Pulling the frames to inspect that often would be too disruptive.

Yes, bees can also make swarm cells on the face of a comb, but I doubt that a swarm would get going without making at least some cells hanging from the edges of the frames. And if they did then I would see them and act on that information.

Nancy
 

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For the record, mine was bearing just because it was too hot in the hive and they were trying to dry the nectar on a hot 78 degree afternoon. The bearing hive had NO queen ON PURPOSE (cut out split earlier in the week). So I know they were not swarming but just bearding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank y'all for your advice and suggestions.
I'll try to catch up on my inspections.
No excuse, but between taking my husband to town twice a week - my own physical therapy, first shoulder and now wrist in town two other days a week and trying to keep up with our business - I have gotten really behind on many things. Definitely behind the 8 ball this year. But, with a little luck, things will get better soon.
 
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