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This past week-end my wife and I were busy around the house. She had been busy re-painting the entrance door off the garage. After working in the garden all day, I was taking a nap on the back deck. She had walked out with the hose behind the house where it gets swampy to wash out her painting stuff. She was using some paint thinner. She started hollering about the bees, which were about 10' away from her. I jumped up and there were thousands of my bees in the air. My initial thought was that they had run out of space and were swarming, but I had recently put another super on top of the hive. I got my gear on, popped the cover off and inspected inside. They had hardly touched the new super. They swarmed into a nearby pine tree about 20' off the ground. I decided not to attempt getting up in the tree to capture them. I set a nuc hive nearby with some old foundation hoping they would move in. In about a half hour they started to fly again....thousands of bees. Within about 15 minutes, they all went back into the original hive. I was happy. :) We figured the smell of the paint thinner so close must have bothered them. Thought you might find this interesting.
 

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practice swarm or mating flight of virgin. You'll need to look in the hive for queen/queen cells to determine which, I would act quickly if you want to keep the possible swarm. I don't think the paint is related to this. I don't find it interesting bc its very common.
 

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practice swarm or mating flight of virgin. You'll need to look in the hive for queen/queen cells to determine which, I would act quickly if you want to keep the possible swarm. I don't think the paint is related to this. I don't find it interesting bc its very common.
I appreciate your comment...just learning...should I look for frames with queen cells and move them into a new hive?
 

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Just putting on a super won't prevent swarming. If there is a solid band of honey above the brood or if the colony has backfilled, the queen won't have anywhere to lay. Hence, the swarming.

burns is right, paint had nothing to do with it.
 

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Yep I would check for more swarm cells if it is a virgin queen on a practice run your hive probably swarmed earlier so I would go in and take a look just make sure you leave resources in case the virgin queen doesn't make it back or fails to mate properly and thanks for sharing you experience I've never had the opportunity to see that and I would probably be thinking what heck just happened what a way to ruin a good snooze
 

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Yep I would check for more swarm cells if it is a virgin queen on a practice run your hive probably swarmed earlier so I would go in and take a look just make sure you leave resources in case the virgin queen doesn't make it back or fails to mate properly and thanks for sharing you experience I've never had the opportunity to see that and I would probably be thinking what heck just happened what a way to ruin a good snooze
I'm going to get into the hive this afternoon after work. It's a good hive....real nice tempered. Hope I can figure it out. :)
 

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Ha if you figure it out don't let the bees know they'll change it again good luck this is my forth year into for sure if I've figured anything out but to just keep trying to figure it out
 

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She's a hard working queen :) I'm just a lazy drone.

I think they swarmed...got into the hive last night....lots of bees....couldn't find the queen....a lot of drone comb and queen cells...hope it survives.
 
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