Right now the bees all over the yard and blanketing my nuc box. I placed an empty nuc box over the top of the nuc box yesterday so I could place a feeder inside. I would think they would be where they are.
Sounds like robbing to me.
Plug up the nuc and move it as far away as you can. Reduce the entrance to 1/2 inch or less, remove feeder. NOW, not in a few minutes. You won't have any bees in the nuc in an hour or two.
Too late their gone. Went up in acloud and I don't know where they went. I will search for them later today need to work. I think it was the robbing that did it. I will place some swarm bait out away from my house and see if I have any luck.
Sometimes a swarm even with the queen will abscond from a hive box.
I had a colony do it (3) times before I got them settled in.
Sometimes just changing the frames in the box, sprinkle syrup or honey around the inside of the hive to get them occupied.
If you have other hives, take a frame with brood and eggs and place it in the hive. (w/swarm)
If you know that the queen is in there, screen them in for a day or two. (w/syrup)
A swarm will usually land within sight of the colony they have left. If they are not to be found, I highly doubt they will return.
Sometimes no matter what you do as a beekeeper, bees will swarm. They swarm to perpetuate thier species. To multiply and continue thier existance. Many times a beekeeper feels something was done in error. Many times it has more to do with mother nature and just realizing that this is what insects, and bees in particular, do as a way of keeping colonies and thier existance going.
Healthy bees, with rapidly expanding bee numbers, a strong queen, time of season, and other factors, all come into play. Unhealthy bees do not swarm. They sometimes abscond. Bees leaving a bait box, or a hive after a beekeeper places them into it, is not absconding in my thinking. Its just the final phase of thier swarming. Sometimes scouts have already decided where they are going, etc.
Things in swarm prevention management, like opening up the brood chamber, limiting over-crowding, using young queens, and other practices, only go as far as to lowering the chances that swarms will happen. Sometimes nothing works. They just swarm.
Swarming and the swarm season, with extra queen cells, the chances of a good honey crop from queenless/broodless hives, and other factors all are part of beekeeping. There is nothing wrong with swarms, just what you make of it.
Thanks for all the advice. I would be real interested in finding out where the swarm took up residence. Hopefully not in the attic of a house or a shed. Before I started keeping bees around here I did not see any honey bees so this colony will probably be the only feral colony around.
The hive that cast a swarm last Tuesday has bees congregating on the outside of the hive by the entrance tonight. This is making me suspicious. There is plenty of room with the two hive bodies. When I checked the frames a few days ago I saw a capped queen cell. I did not find a queen but I did not remove all the frames to look for one. I am worried I might have an after swarm and given this hive started from a nuc I purchased a little over a month ago I really don't want to be weakened further. Could the bees congregating outside the entrance after 9 Pm indicate a pos. of another swarm? I will be going to work tomarrow but I would hate to lose more bees from this hive.
They often will congragate on face of hive after they swarm. Not really an indicator they are preparing to swarm again as it was prior to original swarm. Just not alot to do untill new queen starts laying so they don't do much but wash board and clean house. Around here after swarms usually occur 4 days after primary. If your over that odds are their not going anywhere. You may see mating flights in which high number of bees will vacate hive during the flight but they will return to hive with queen. This usually occurs 5-7 days after new queen has emerged.
We often use nuc boxes to catch swarms but usually move them into a full deep as space seems to be an important consideration for a swarm to stay put.
A queen exluder does help with containment if the queen is the old mated queen leaving with a first swarm, usually the larger ones. Most swarms, (after swarms) have virgin queens which are able to pass through a queen excluder due to a slender abdomen. It is worth the effort to do anything you can, frame of honey, brood, comb, to make the new home more attractive. Also hiving them near dark and placing grass in the entrance may help.
CW I've been looking all over for that swarm rhyme. Thanks!
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