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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Had our first great weather of the year this weekend and I think one of my hives decided that it was a good time to go find some new digs. First time I've actually seen a swarm happen and then land in a nearby tree. I didn't have a spare hive, so I went online to my bee shop and ordered one. Went back out about 30 minutes later to take a look at them and not a bee in site... Guess you don't have much time to get them do you? I want to open the hive that I think they came out of to see how many are left. Still looks like it's quite full of bees.

Funny thing is I noticed they were so full of bees that they were starting to beard so I added another super to each hive. A day later, they swarmed.

 

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You may want to have a look see. Had one swarm, land in the tree, then come back....no queen.....
 

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They had been thinking about swarming for a couple of weeks before took off. So putting on a super, especially one with foundation, and especially one above an excluder, won't make any difference to them.

In my experience most swarms don't stay at their first landing spot for long. Just long enough to make sure that the queen is coming and then they go to the next landing spot, usually higher in the tree.:doh:

But when you see them land for the first time, you need to be ready.
 

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Chandler,

About two weeks ago, I picked up a small swarm and when I asked how long they were there, I was told two days. Yet, I have had swarms land on a small tree, beard up, got the phone call and was there within 45 minutes, and before my very eyes, the beard evaporated. Not sure how long they were there before my phone call.

Beeteedee is right on. They had been thinking of swarming for a couple of weeks and one needs to have spare equipment at the ready.

What makes it crazy is that when you lose half of your bees, you don't really notice it so bad as it seems that there are still tons of bees. However, the secondary and tertiary swarms cut into your number and then you notice.

Have your swarm cells in the hive released their queens? I was told that the first queen out will kill the other swarm cells, but I don't think that is true all the time. When the virgin queens leave, they also take numbers of your bees with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Haven't dug that deeply into the hives yet. The one that the swarm appeared to come from has a lot of bees. The second super is fairly full of bees. I pulled a couple of the frames and the first super is packed with bees. Put it back together and left it alone. The other hive next to it was a little different. Not nearly as many bees and the super I just added was pretty empty. Pulled that super off and the first super is pretty full of bees. Decided to leave it off for now. Didn't notice any queen cells but I didn't dig too deeply either. Don't want to prompt them to swarm again.
 
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