Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had one of my hives swarm two days ago and they settled on a small tree near the original hive. I managed to knock it into a box and dump it into a hive. I added feed and a few old combs. Yesterday the original hive was a hot mess, bees clustering on the outside in huge amounts, so many and so unsettled that I thought maybe they were getting robbed out, but as the day progressed I noticed this cluster start moving into the hive.

This morning I went to look and the swarm hive and noticed that there were very few bees in there. Would the original swarm leave the box and go back home if I lost the queen in the move? Would they leave a virgin queen behind in the swarm box? Should I just shake this small swarm cluster on the ground in front of the original hive and let them go back home? It is very small, but if there is a chance for a virgin queen in there I would like to keep her as insurance but with a hive check she could be out mating and I might miss her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,832 Posts
I assume you lost the queen.
Since there are very few bees left - look and see IF you spy the queen and go from there? Should be easy.
If queen-less, they will all return home anyway; might as well shake them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks this beekeeping is sure a wild ride. Just after I posted this I walked out back to the bee yard and there was a huge swarm on a skinny branch. I am sure it is from my hives and most probably the one that left and did a reboot. The first swarm was attached to a tree trunk and difficult for me to handle alone. This one was bending over and ripe for my husband to cut the branch and lower it into a deep hive body I had stocked with a muddle of frames (all I had).

When can I move it to the bee yard, it is in a bad spot right now and kind of precarious as it is in the bush on a small stand on uneven ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,372 Posts
When can I move it to the bee yard, it is in a bad spot right now and kind of precarious as it is in the bush on a small stand on uneven ground.
Congrats on the successful catch.

I would move it as soon as possible before they get oriented to their present location.

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
It gets less wild if you learn more and try to get to where you can know without having to only react. And to be able to know what's going to happen, or what to anticipate and when. Then you won't feel as stressed out too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fun.
As of July 21st the swarms are still flying at your place - so we see.
Hope for the same at my place too. :)
Yup the main canola crops up here started flowering 5 days ago so there is lots of nectar and pollen for them to build on. If they do not do well I will combine some in the fall.

It gets less wild if you learn more and try to get to where you can know without having to only react. And to be able to know what's going to happen, or what to anticipate and when. Then you won't feel as stressed out too.
In the first two years keeping bees I have tried to gather as much info as I could, I started my research a full year before I got my first bees. I needed to sink or swim on my own as with Covid no one was able to do hands on learning and we don't have a bee club close enough to attend, so I turned to Beesource and am glad I did. Performing a cut out, collecting swarms, queen less hives ( I caused that by doing a split without realizing the queen had swarmed) , cutting out a queen cell to graft, robbing frenzy, swarmy hives that keep on swarming every time a queen cell hatches, and on and on. I make many mistakes, and missteps, but hey, that is also key to learning.

I hope next year I will calm down a little, not knowing enough is stressful but with time that too will pass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,780 Posts
Once upon a time, I had a row of hive boxes stacked. A very large swarm flew into one of the stacks and also hanging out of the hive as well. Within a couple days it split itself up into 2 different stacks of boxes. One had a mated painted queen, the other had a virgin. So, yes swarms can come with multiple queens and they can split up on arrival.

Not the same as what's happening with you, but just to let you know that sometimes swarms do split up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
I'm curious... you said canola flow just started. And sunflower flow depending on where you are at is starting.

When does the nectar flow officially tend to stop up there in Canada?

Its so interesting how different places can have a very different game in beekeeping.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm curious... you said canola flow just started. And sunflower flow depending on where you are at is starting.

When does the nectar flow officially tend to stop up there in Canada?

Its so interesting how different places can have a very different game in beekeeping.

Thanks.
In North central Sask. the main flow usually starts the second week in July and goes to the third week in August, but that is a little farther south than I am and we can be a week behind. I live in canola country right up against the forest, but there is a lot of hay land and pasture with alfalfa and clover so the bees really don't have a dearth until we need to feed in fall to make sure the hives are full of honey for the winter. We have very long days so I assume that is helpful as the bees do not stop foraging till the sun goes down so I am often in bed before they are.

I think it is late for a virgin queen to mate and grow the hive large enough for winter, but I suspect these are my bees and it is not possible to just look at them hanging in the tree and leave them there. I captured another fairly large swarm yesterday. Our yard has, for as long as we have been here, had swarms of bees move into various sheds so it is possible they are not mine. At least I think I will have a new queen as now I have 4 hives instead of just the one so combining in the fall will be another lesson for me, always an opportunity for hands on learning with bees.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top