Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I collected a swarm from a new friend on 2/26/21. He said it issued from a hive in a brick wall about 30' away from the swarm ball, and that it does this just about every year. That swarm was a bit on the small side, but had a queen, and is doing fine. I just upgraded them from a nuc to a deep.

Same friend just sent me video today, showing another swarm forming on the bricks, about 10' away from that same hive. He says it's issuing from the same hive.

Is this common? According to Bush's Bee Math:

Code:
Days until:
Caste Hatch Cap  Emerge   
Queen  3½   8 ±1 16 ±2 Laying        28 ±5
Worker 3½   9 ±1 20 ±1 Foraging      42 ±7
Drone  3½  10 ±1 24 ±1 Flying to DCA 38 ±5
If they swarmed just before the swarm cells emerged, say on Day 14-15, then the new queen would have started laying on Day 28 ± 5, so only about 45 days before now, and which means that the colony would have started new swarm cells on day ~30 after the new queen started laying. That doesn't seem like a lot of time to build up swarm pressure, especially after a 5 week brood break (2 weeks to start laying, plus ~3 weeks until emergence).
 

·
Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
It's incredibly common.

I've had swarms cast out every week or so until there was almost nothing left. In those hives I've found swarm cells of varying ages from emerging to still open. As such, the bee "math" doesn't really apply as there could be multiple virgin or even mated queens in the hive and multiple stages of swarm cells. They don't necessarily wait to have another mated queen to start swarming out again, or wait until they have two mated queens and one or both will leave. Bees don't seem to follow "rules" when swarming.

I've only found that after the hive nearly swarms itself to death does the last remaining virgin decide to mate and stick around.

I'm curious to know if the swarm in the 1st and 2nd swarm were mated queens? Perhaps a mated queen in the first and a virgin in the second? Both mated?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,242 Posts
I had a swarm last summer that swarmed again a week later. The swarm swarmed! I assume it had two virgins or a queen and a virgin. The second swarm was puny and took a long time to build up, but if I kept track correctly, it is the only hive that survived the winter this year.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
likely the cavity in the wall is smallish and honey bound, one round of brood , we're crowded, swarm, wash rinse repeat.
if the genetics are good keep catching them. seems a good resource.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm curious to know if the swarm in the 1st and 2nd swarm were mated queens? Perhaps a mated queen in the first and a virgin in the second? Both mated?
I collected the first swarm from this hive on 2/26, did not see eggs on 2/28, but I saw wet brood on 3/6. So odds are she was mated, but no guarantee.

I'll open up the secondary swarm this weekend, 4-5 days after collection, and see what I find. But I'm going to combine this secondary swarm with 2 other swarms that I just collected, because this is as many colonies as I want to have this year.

These other 2 are a simpler story--2 swarms cast out from the same mother hive, 2 days apart. The first swarm was pretty good-sized, and I collected that on 3/27. The second one was small, but not as small as some I've collected. When I peek this weekend the first will have had 4-5 days in the box, but the second will have had only 2-3. I'll keep the queen that's laid the most eggs, but I'll be replacing her with an Italian next week anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,905 Posts
How many swarms could a swarm cell sell, if a swarm cell could sell swarms?
6+
"Heit gyntaf a del o'r tryded heit" the 1st swarm from the 3rd swarm (2nd cast)... had a value of 4d as set by welsh law, so it must have been common enough
the prime swarm was 16d, the bull was 12d and the 3rd cast was 8d
in the old late 70s early 80s German skep films they culled cells to stop casts (after swarms) after 2 to 3 swarms.. this actions tells up nature would do more swarms with out corrective action!!
 

·
Registered
2-10 frame deep Langstroth
Joined
·
47 Posts
6+
"Heit gyntaf a del o'r tryded heit" the 1st swarm from the 3rd swarm (2nd cast)... had a value of 4d as set by welsh law, so it must have been common enough
the prime swarm was 16d, the bull was 12d and the 3rd cast was 8d
in the old late 70s early 80s German skep films they culled cells to stop casts (after swarms) after 2 to 3 swarms.. this actions tells up nature would do more swarms with out corrective action!!
Thank you for that, who knew! I was just being cheeky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I collected the first swarm from this hive [the "Michael" hive] on 2/26, did not see eggs on 2/28, but I saw wet brood on 3/6. So odds are she was mated, but no guarantee.

I'll open up the secondary swarm this weekend, 4-5 days after collection, and see what I find. But I'm going to combine this secondary swarm with 2 other swarms that I just collected [from the "Kristen" hive], because this is as many colonies as I want to have this year.
This queen (from the Michael hive) was laying, 4 days after collection, so odds are she was mated. But it doesn't matter because she went into the jar of alcohol. I should have kept her, instead of the queen from the larger swarm, because I knew for sure she was mated. But I found and marked the other one first, because I had a brain fart.

These other 2 are a simpler story--2 swarms cast out from the same mother hive, 2 days apart. The first swarm was pretty good-sized, and I collected that on 3/27. The second one was small, but not as small as some I've collected. When I peek this weekend the first will have had 4-5 days in the box, but the second will have had only 2-3. I'll keep the queen that's laid the most eggs, but I'll be replacing her with an Italian next week anyway.
So these two swarms from the Kristen hive were actually its 1st and 3rd casts; the 2nd cast was collected by a different beek, because it landed in a neighbor's tree.

I did not check very carefully for eggs from these 2 queens that I collected. The first queen, from the first, large cast, looked fat, so my guess is she was mated. I marked her and kept her for the combine.

The second queen (from the hive's 3rd cast) looked small, so my guess is she was a virgin. But it doesn't matter because she went into the jar of alcohol.

I combined all 3 swarms and the 1 remaining queen into a deep, using some vanilla-scented water, and they covered about 7-8 frames. I didn't see any fighting, nor a pile of dead bees in front the next day, and they have been foraging the past 2 days.

And then today this same colony swarmed for the 4th time!! I expected a 4th cast to be tiny, but this was actually a decent-sized swarm. The mother hive must a monster! I put these in a medium with 10 mostly-drawn frames, and I'll de-queen and do a newspaper-combine tomorrow morning, and then I've got an Italian queen coming on Wednesday to rule them all.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
So I opened up the deep this morning, which had bees from 3 swarms and should have had 1 marked queen from Saturday's combining operation. Instead I found one un-marked queen and zero marked queens. Hmmmm. It's possible that I missed one, because I only looked for one queen per swarm, and she then killed my marked queen.

I saw eggs, but those could have been laid as early as Saturday and still be un-hatched, right?

Anyway, I marked this new queen and put her back in the deep.

Then I went through the medium, 3 times, and found zero queens. I'm not completely surprised, since this is the 4th swarm that got cast off from that mother hive, but it's also possible that I could have missed a virgin, because 1) they're smaller, and 2) I continue to be absolutely horribad at finding unmarked queens.

In any case, I stacked this medium on top of the deep, above newspaper, a queen excluder, and an Imirie shim (in that order), and will back in on Thu to drop in a purchased Italian queen. We'll see at that time what queens remain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And now the Kristen hive has swarmed for a 5th time. I picked up the primary swarm on Tuesday, 8 days ago. Crazy:

 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top