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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone here have any knowledge of whether or not there's a minimum swarming temperature?

Is it 60F?

Or is it above that?

This weather has not been normal, because usually I'd be concerned about swarming...but it's been unusually cold.

Thank you.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Does anyone here have any knowledge of whether or not there's a minimum swarming temperature?

Is it 60F?

Or is it above that?

This weather has not been normal, because usually I'd be concerned about swarming...but it's been unusually cold.

Thank you.
you are right to be concerned, once it warms all the pent up swarming will unleash. ya 60 ish is some where close, and if it is too cold they will stay and wait for a warmer day. next week 70s is going to be "warm enough" IMO

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok...will they wait to add weight to the hives before swarming, or will they just take off on their first opportunity ?

The weather has depleted quite a bit of their stores, and hives are getting light.

Thanks again.
 

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Does anyone here have any knowledge of whether or not there's a minimum swarming temperature?

Is it 60F?

Or is it above that?

This weather has not been normal, because usually I'd be concerned about swarming...but it's been unusually cold.

Thank you.
I picked up a swarm yesterday.
Barely 60F, but sunny.
Rather cool in shade.
Cold nights. Cold winds from the North still.

Still, the most crowded hives are already swarming here and now (Southern WI).
 

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I think a lot varies on the bees. I have a hive that forages at a lower temperature than my other hives. I could see them swarming at a lower temperature too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Do you think they'll swarm if the colony is light on honey stores?

I have some colonies with good populations but the honey is down to just 1 frame.
 

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IMO bees will swarm when there is no more room to grow, not because the temp is XX or because the larder is bare. I think that it takes a lot of workers to fill the empty cells with honey, so if there is room the queen will keep laying and the foragers will keep trying to fill the storage areas. Once there is no more room for the queen to lay, and no room to save provisions, it is time to split the population and reproduce itself in the form of a swarm. Or better, you can split it yourself before that happens.
 

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Minimum temperature? I think it is far more complicated than external temperature alone. I am fairly certain it requires sunlight. My friend had a swarm on April 25th after a period of very grey and rainy, cold weather. THat day was a bright shinny day and not that warm - 50 at best I think. This is 3-4 weeks early for us. As a result of our wet and cold springs we normally have a sudden bout of nice sunny weather. Daily swarming counts form a nice explosive exponential curve for the area.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK, then when is it safe to have them make their own queens?

Will a colony that swarms early still be able to produce quality queens, or will it fail to mate if there's few drones?

Drones are flying in 30% of the colonies.
 

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That's what I was thinking. I set a bunch of traps yesterday with the idea of nicer weather there should be an influx of prime swarms to be had. We shall see...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I started setting up some as well.

The problem...how will the queens mate if there's only 30% of the drones flying around?
 

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I started setting up some as well.

The problem...how will the queens mate if there's only 30% of the drones flying around?
She will get her 20 drones out of the 30%.
Not something to worry about.
May not be the best drones that you want however (mostly likely just imported drones came along with packages from wherever).
 
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