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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I previously posted concerning a large swarm I captured one week ago. I thought it was around 10 lbs but it my have been closer to 13 or 14. I received some great feedback on my questions so here is an update and more questions. I would appreciate any assistance.

The swarm was fairly large I placed it in four eight frame medium boxes ( what I had available) with nine frames per box. There were two drawn frames, 10 foundationless frames and the remainder foundation only. This evening I did my first inspection exactly 7 days after I hived the swarm. I have not fed this hive. All four boxes are overflowing with bees and they have drawn out about 27 of the frames completely. Five plus of the frames are filled with uncapped nectar. My concern is I could not find any eggs or larva. They are bringing in very minimal pollen.

Should I start worrying I may be queenless? I do not have access to any frames of eggs/larva until next Tuesday. Additionally, the frames I can get are about 3 hours away so I need suggestions how to transport them if that is the best option.

Should I wait longer?

Should I attempt to re-queen?

Thank you for all feedback and suggestions. image.jpg
 

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I suppose it depends if it was the old queen that was with the swarm, or if it was a new queen.

If it was the old one then she should be laying and yes, you probably have a problem.

If however it was the new queen, it will take around 12 days after she emerged before she would finish mating and about 18 days before she would start laying. So if she emerged on the 12th, a couple of days before they swarmed (which from your description would be about the 14th) then she should start laying somewhere around 18 days after emergence which would be somewhere in the range of the 30th of May. If that is the case you are fine. Anyway, if they are that strong I would just let them bring in nectar and make honey until after the flow since all your bees are freed up to collect nectar instead of taking care of brood.
 

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I would almost bet if they have drawn out that many frames and stayed in the hive they have a queen. It may take her a week or so before she gets back to laying after swarming. But, if you do try and add a frame of eggs from three hours away the easiest way to do it would be to leave the bees attached to the frame you are moving. Put the frame in a small nuc box and let the attached bees care for the brood on the ride home. You won't have any problems doing it that way.
 

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I had a similar situation, I caught a swarm and I thought something happened to the queen because I checked it about ten days after and did not have any brood.. but I checked about two weeks later and all is well. They have plenty of brood now, but like you I was worried, so give them a couple of weeks and check again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you to everyone that gave me feedback, I appreciate it very much. I will inspect the hive in one week and then decide if I need to add a frame of eggs.

Thanks again.
 

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I hived my first Swarm on Fri...about a week ago. They have stayed in a 10 frame deep with wax foundation and 1 frame of drawn comb with a bit of brood.

I checked this evening for the first time. All 10 frames are drawn on both sides. They really messed up 3 frames by welding them together into a mixed up mass. I took those out and cut out the really crazy bits in an attempt to separate and straighten them. There are lots of bees on both sides of all frames But...I saw no brood or eggs. They haven't started Queen cells on the frame of open brood I had put with them. They have packed all the cells with nectar and pollen. I have no idea where a Queen would lay except in the empty cells on the brood frame I gave them.

I did have an excluder under them for 2 days when I first hived them.

As in the above post do I wait another week before concern re lack of eggs/brood? If none then I presume I trade out a frame of their nectar and pollen packed comb for one with eggs and early larvae.

I also hived a small after swarm in a nuc. I tried to check them today but they so hot I just closed them up again. I could see they are drawing comb and packing it with nectar but was unable to tell if there was any brood.

Should I give the larger swarm another deep as they are packing away so much nectar or wait until they have some brood?
 

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>Should I give the larger swarm another deep as they are packing away so much nectar or wait until they have some brood?
Yes, keep giving them room as they need it. 80% rule. Since this hive is so big I would go less.

I have the same thing a 5+ lb swarm. I gave them a frame of brood/eggs when hived and they did not make any queen cells. They have filled almost 10 frames with nectar. Still no brood after one week. I will give them one more week then I will add a frame.

I did notice patches in the center of some frames that were empty and cleaned out, like they intentionally left them open for brood. I have seen this before and these areas gets filled with brood. But I don’t know if it's a guarantee or just something bees do. Maybe someone else know for sure?
 

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You're ok, they are not queen-less, be patient. And, that is a primary swarm so it has an older queen, not a virgin.

They do need at least two more boxes though soon (like yesterday), or they will turn around and swarm on you again in a few weeks.

Don
 

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cottonwood - my guess is that if you wanted more hives and had eggs, you could easily split that large swarm and create one or two more hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
cottonwood - my guess is that if you wanted more hives and had eggs, you could easily split that large swarm and create one or two more hives.
My large swarm started taking in pollen today so I see that as a good sign. I'll check for eggs again next Tuesday and then decide what to do. I just traded a couple of the newly drawn frames or foundation frames to keep them busy. They are drawing out frames like crazy. I also put in a drone frame so they can draw it out.

I captured two more swarms this week so I have gone from two hives to five. I am also waiting on a couple of packages of Russians I ordered back in December. Now I understand why experienced beeks say you never have enough equipment. I have to build some bottom boards and covers ASAP.
 

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Cottonwood,
If you find there is no brood or queen, why waste gas on a frame of eggs that only has a CHANCE at making a queen?? You would be better off ordering a couple mated queens anyhow. That way your hives wont be dwindling to nothing before new bees hatch. Trust me, I have been through the route of giving hives a frame of eggs only to watch them dwindle down to nothing. You will be way ahead both monetarily and "beewise" by ordering a queen or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cottonwood,
If you find there is no brood or queen, why waste gas on a frame of eggs that only has a CHANCE at making a queen?? You would be better off ordering a couple mated queens anyhow. That way your hives wont be dwindling to nothing before new bees hatch. Trust me, I have been through the route of giving hives a frame of eggs only to watch them dwindle down to nothing. You will be way ahead both monetarily and "beewise" by ordering a queen or two.
BeeGhost. Thank you for your suggestions. The only reason I am considering adding a frame of eggs is to save the local genetics. The large swArm came from a three year old hive that has over wintered and survived treatment free for three years. The owner of the "mother hive" has offered me a frame of eggs if I want it so if I go that way I hope to keep the line going. I can't get any northern raised queens until late June and I would prefer not to use a southern queen as our winters have been brutal in terms of cold and length.
 
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