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I put a swarm in a nuc last night in the dark. I couldn't get into my other hives to get some brood. If I want to put some open brood in is it too late, too disruptive, or counter productive at this point? It's a pretty small swarm, softball sized. Not entirely sure they even have a queen honestly. There were two big swarms in the area the day before, but home owner didn't know anyone would want them.

So the next day a much smaller swarm was back. I'm wondering if it wasn't the "left overs" from whenever the swarm moved on?
 

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I put a swarm in a nuc last night in the dark. I couldn't get into my other hives to get some brood. If I want to put some open brood in is it too late, too disruptive, or counter productive at this point? It's a pretty small swarm, softball sized. Not entirely sure they even have a queen honestly. There were two big swarms in the area the day before, but home owner didn't know anyone would want them.

So the next day a much smaller swarm was back. I'm wondering if it wasn't the "left overs" from whenever the swarm moved on?
It very well could be some bees who did not get the memo. If it was a softball sized swarm, I probably would not give them a frame of eggs to build a queen. They probably do not have enough resources to make a good queen.

If it were me, check them in a few days. If they have a queen, great. To give them a boost, I would give them a partial frame of brood, if I had it to easily spare. Something they can cover and take care of. If not, then combine them.

I had a similar situation last week. My softball sized cluster was queenless.

Shane
 

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It very well could be some bees who did not get the memo. If it was a softball sized swarm, I probably would not give them a frame of eggs to build a queen. They probably do not have enough resources to make a good queen.

If it were me, check them in a few days. If they have a queen, great. To give them a boost, I would give them a partial frame of brood, if I had it to easily spare. Something they can cover and take care of. If not, then combine them.

I had a similar situation last week. My softball sized cluster was queenless.

Shane
Thank you, that's kind of what I was planning. I have a hive that started as a package that could use a bit of a bee boost.

When I got them in the box 10 bees immediately went to the hole I cut and started fanning. Is this a good sign or do bees just do this regardless? I recall reading that it's a good sign that you've got the queen?
 

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When I got them in the box 10 bees immediately went to the hole I cut and started fanning. Is this a good sign or do bees just do this regardless? I recall reading that it's a good sign that you've got the queen?
Fanning is a good sign. But it doesn't guarantee you have the queen. My queenless swarm started fanning as well.
 

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I have tried to save these small swarms, with no luck.
They are just too small and you spend too much time and it doesn't pan out.

If you don't give them a frame of brood they will leave.
If you do then you sacrifice a strong hive to help a doomed one. This hive will be too small to survive winter even if you feed it, as soon as the first dearth comes the other hives will rob it out and they will die anyways.

Two options that have worked for me.
Give them 3+ frames of brood and nurse bees, so you basically make a nuc that is big enough to survive.
The other remove the queen from the swarm (there always seem to be one) put them in a container with a screen put the screen side on the inner cover hole for 15-20 minutes then add bees to new hive (similar to a newspaper combine).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There weren't squat for bees left yesterday when we went to add some brood. Handful at most. I saw no queen. But did notice some very dark bees in our struggling hive so I'm guessing a good number of them went on over there to join up. I took the rest and put them just outside the entrance of the other hive and they worked their way in after a few bees from that hive came out and they touched each other a bit. Within a few minutes all of them were in the hive. Left the top bars out of the nuc that we originally put the hive in so they'd be inclined to find a new home before dark.

Too bad it didn't pan out, I really would like some "feral" genetics.
 

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>There weren't squat for bees left yesterday when we went to add some brood.

They left with the queen, I have not been able to keep them without a frame of open brood.

>Too bad it didn't pan out, I really would like some "feral" genetics.

Make swarm traps.
 

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>There weren't squat for bees left yesterday when we went to add some brood.

They left with the queen, I have not been able to keep them without a frame of open brood.

>Too bad it didn't pan out, I really would like some "feral" genetics.

Make swarm traps.
I have swarm traps up. There really weren't many bees to begin with. I think I got the scouts that were left behind when the swarm moved via the homeowner disrupting them. But I don't really know, obviously. Better luck next time I suppose. :)

That particular guy who called me has an abandoned house right next door. Hoping it might be a swarm throwing fiend and get another out of it later this year or in the future.
 
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