Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We have a bunch of bees who left the hive yesterday and have formed a mass just beneath the hive on the grass. Has anyone heard of this happening before? We thought that they were maybe feeding on some dropped fondant on the ground and would return to the hive as night fell, but sure enough they stayed huddled in a group all night. The majority of the bees are still in the hive.

The ones on the ground are really clinging to each other and are not flying at all, they seem sort of weak.

Has anyone experienced this type of thing? Can anyone explain what they're doing?

This is what they look like:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/57694/temp/bees/deserters1.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/57694/temp/bees/deserters2.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
It looks like they have swarmed, and the old queen who goes with the swarm, was not able to fly. The easiest way to capture is to place a hive box with a few drawn combs in it over the group on the ground with the cover ajar. Once they climb up into the box, put a bottom on it and put it in your apiary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,505 Posts
I have experienced this with a swarm (one in the tree branch, and one on the ground 5 feet away), and agree with becky that what you have is a swarm on the ground. Was your queen's wings clipped? If you have a bee vac it would gently get them up, and then put them in a nuc and see what they do, but Becky's idea is pretty good too, I will try it next time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I should also mention that the hive is a brand new TBH, and the bees who have remained in the hive, although active, have not built any comb yet. We introduced them last Friday. Do you still think this is a swarm? By the way, in the last two hours the group of bees on the ground have flown of to who knows where... :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Like Adrian im also wondering about sugar syrup being fed.

If you have only been feeding fondant and you have no honey flow the bees wont be able to draw comb.

The fondant will keep them alive but thats all.

The bees have probably absconded from the hive in search of better forage and if they get lucky a hollow tree with abandoned drawn comb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yes, we have been feeding sugar syrup. They were not eating it very quickly for the first few days. I realize now that may have been due to the low temps we were experiencing here (someone on another thread mentioned that the syrup needs to be at least 50 degrees for the bees to eat it). Now that we have warmer weather, the bees that remained in the hive are eating quite ravenously. So, should I assume that I still have a queen in the hive? The bulk of the bees are still in the hive; would they stay there without a queen?
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top