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I coaxed the swarms (1 original swarm, then a swarm from that swarm) into 2 boxes last Thurs-Fri. They seem to've acclimated to their new digs. Lots of coming and going. But .... I don't see them bringing in any pollen.

This is prime-time for pollen collection here in eastern NC, so I'm thinking bees s/b going gangbusters. Collection, they say, implies presence of a laying queen.

If the 2 swarms had/have virgin queens when they took up in the boxes, wouldn't it be a while before they mated, and if successful, began laying? I live in an area relatively isolated from any beeks I know or have heard of (I'm aware of feral hives possibly being around,but prior to my getting bees, I never -- in 15 years - ever saw a honeybee in my super-flowery yards). Meaning: chances of successful mating in these parts might be slim.

In short (finally): how to handle this? Check the boxes regularly to see if there're brood? I want to keep disturbance to a minimum.

I'm thinking that if an old queen had been in either swarm, she'd start laying pretty fast, and pollen would be forthcoming.

Any data/clarification/suggestions invited and welcomed ....

Mitch
 

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Did you have any drawn comb in the hives you put the swarms into? if not it will take a few days to build comb for the queen to lay in. The bees will also need comb to store nectar and pollen so it may be a few days before you see pollen going into the hives. If there was old comb in the hives, the bees may be cleaning it before starting to store pollen and nectar or the queen laying eggs in it. If there were virgin queens it may take 7-10 days before you see any larva. Personally, I would not disturb the hives for 10 days to two weeks initially. Let them get settled and the queens laying. Too much disturbance too early may cause the swarm(s) to leave. I wouldn't worry about any virgin queens getting mated. There are hives generating those swarms so there will be drones available to mate with any virgin queens. Best of luck with your hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did you have any drawn comb in the hives you put the swarms into? if not it will take a few days to build comb for the queen to lay in. The bees will also need comb to store nectar and pollen so it may be a few days before you see pollen going into the hives. If there was old comb in the hives, the bees may be cleaning it before starting to store pollen and nectar or the queen laying eggs in it. If there were virgin queens it may take 7-10 days before you see any larva. Personally, I would not disturb the hives for 10 days to two weeks initially. Let them get settled and the queens laying. Too much disturbance too early may cause the swarm(s) to leave. I wouldn't worry about any virgin queens getting mated. There are hives generating those swarms so there will be drones available to mate with any virgin queens. Best of luck with your hives.
Thx a million,Gray; I'll admit, I'd not considered most of the points you made. I think I had a tiny bit of comb on 1 frame (I gave a bunch of heavily-combed frames to a pal a few weeks ago and had no more, naturally).

The swarm(s) I got came -- I'm pretty sure -- from 1 of my 2 strong hives or 1 of the 2 splits I made from them lately. I've nabbed a # of swarms here over the past 4 years, and I think all of them originated from my own hives. I'd really welcome some "alien" bees.

Mitch
 
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