someone said it takes 17 days for bees to actually swarm once they have made up their mind to swarm. So think back 17 days and what was going on? Were they crowded then? What kind of foundation are you using? Was the queen crowded by honey and she ran out of room to lay? Just some ideas.
Their goal in life is to swarm. That is just what bees want to do. Some just want to do it more than others. There won't always be a reason. I have had them swarm in late September. Why? I have no idea.
You have to learn what bees normally do and try to work with that. Bees that swarm when they get one box partly drawn or in September with no flow will just happen and that is part of the life of a beekeeper.
Obviusly they do not like the new hive. I have put them back in twice and they stay for a few hours then march out and pile up in front of the hive. They are still there now so for a day and a half they are a pile on the ground in front of the new hive.
I do not have a bee vac, maybe I am missing the queen. The first time I put them in the remainder were marching in and then just turned around and started marching out. I put a Queen excluder in front of the entrance and loaded them in again. They started marching in again and within a couple hours started marching back out.
something may be amiss with the hive. is it old?new? newly painted? been sprayed for moths? what frames are you useing? foundation? plastic? need more info to give a best guess. that said, many are reporting this "absconding" from swarms. my suspicion is its genetics related.
Almost sounds like you didn't get the queen. A queenless swarm isn't going to like much of anything. If they continue to refuse their living quarters, you might consider recombining them with the old hive.
get rid of the plastic foundation. go foundationless if you have to. put in a frame of brood if available, and an inner feeder. get as many as you can in the hive, and set it on the ground in front of the remaining bees. watch for "fanning" buts in the air, wings blowing. if the ungratefull SOB's wont stay then, just let'em go.
Well, every time I put them back in they line up on the porch but out fanning and I think I have them. I put foundationless every other frame and they have a bag feeder inside on top of the frames.
I agree if they don't move in tonight they can go live somewhere else! I think the Queen just wants to run. If I could find her I would cage her and order a new Queen.
Dang liberal bees, free stuff is never enough!
Some people feed a package constantly for the first year. In my experience this usually results in them swarming when they are not strong enough and often failing. Some feed spring, fall and dearth regardless of stores. Some don't believe in feeding at all. Some steal all the honey in the fall and try to feed them back up enough to winter.
Did they settle in and build comb or just leave? If they just left, they may have not liked something or just got a wild hair. If you fed constantly and they build comb and filled it with syrup, then you set off swarming by following the common, but in my opinion, wrong advice that you should feed constantly and that feeding can't hurt. And yet it can cause a first year package to swarm, draw ants bad enough to make them abscond, drown a lot of bees, set off robbing, and upset the balance of microbes tremendously. "Feeding can't hurt" quite simply is not a true statement. Not even close to a true statement.
I gave them feed them until they had the bottom hive box drawn and half the top hive box drawn. Then stopped feeding. After they had 6 full frames drawn in the top hive box I put on a medium honey super with wax coated platic. They have drawn out two complete frames and two partial frames in that super before they swarmed.
Thought I pulled the feed of soon enough. Did this with the rest of the hives as well as this is one of four new packages and no problems. Actually one of the new packages has already drawn and filled a medium honey super and is started on a second already. I have an entire field of White Sweet Clover that is starting to bloom so they should be picking up again as well. I thought it was early for the sweet clover compared to last year.
I never put a honey super on when feeding. I never seen any robbing at this hive and no ant problems with this one either. I was wondering if I had a skunk or something pestering them at night but see no scratching on the hive.
I had almost all of the bees back in the hive again last night and this morning they were back on the ground in front of the hive again! I am begining to think the Quenn is just a %*$#@ and it does not matter what I do. I put a frame of eggs and larve from my big hive in the box now and put them back in.
My bet is that when I get home this afternoon they will be back on the ground in front of the hive. I just hope the tender bees that were on the frame of eggs will take care of the eggs and larve. I made sure to find my queen from the donating hive laying on another frame before I took the frame.
One thing I was wondering ... was I was expecting some sort of fighting with the swarm bees and the tenders when I dumped them on the frame together. But I seen none at all?
You know two different smelling bees and not fighting? Odd right?
You need to lock them down for three days. But first make sure there is A Queen is in there.
That's what my Bee Master told me last year when I couldn't get mine to stay with the hive. It worked just fine.
When I got home they were back on the ground out of the hive. Only bees left were the nurse bees. I pulled the frame of eggs and larve and put them into one of my lighter hives.
Then I took a hive body with 10 plastic wax coated frames in the hive body and placed it directly on the pile of bees on the ground with no bottom board but with an inner cover and telescoping cover, basically an entire hive minus the bottom board.
In the next 3 or 4 hours they all climbed up the frames into the hive, not one stray bee outside. I just went out after dark and picked it up and placed it on a bottom board. The hive body is full of bees. Then put a screen over the entrance and placed the entire hive on a skid where we want the hive. I will take the screen off and reduce the entrance with a screen entrance reducer tomorrow after work.
Honestly this is probably the first time I got the Queen in the hive. So looking good right now. See if they stick around.
Now my problem is that I am almost out of equipment. Better order some covers and bottom boards! I have hive bodies, honey supers and frames.
I was only adding four hives this year,now looks like six.
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