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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I caught a small swarm the other day, it was about the size of a football. I have them in a hive with some comb but the bees all just seem to be still clumped together. They are not interested in doing anything other than just hanging out. My thought is this small swarm is queenless.

The other swarm I caught the same day was about the size of a basketball and they are actively working and really getting after it.

I have looked for a queen but the bees are not very interested in even separating for inspection.

Should I just go ahead and maybe sugar mist the bees and combine them with the swarm that is drawing comb ??

thanks for your input.
 

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Sounds like they are queenless, and is a secondary swarm. I got one last year that fits your description. They drew some comb, but eventually petered out.

Phil
 

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So I caught a small swarm the other day, it was about the size of a football. I have them in a hive with some comb but the bees all just seem to be still clumped together. They are not interested in doing anything other than just hanging out. My thought is this small swarm is queenless.

The other swarm I caught the same day was about the size of a basketball and they are actively working and really getting after it.

I have looked for a queen but the bees are not very interested in even separating for inspection.

Should I just go ahead and maybe sugar mist the bees and combine them with the swarm that is drawing comb ??

thanks for your input.
I would probably take a frame of brood from another hive and give it to them complete with nurse bees. Make sure there is some eggs available so they can start raising a queen. A football size swarm should be big enough to make it with no trouble. That would be at least as big as a 3 pound package. You will have to feed the heck out of them, though.
 

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Like bill said its worth a try. They need a decent population to rear a queen, wet nectar or syrup and bee bred. Notch the places with eggs or larva, it will allow them to build easier, easily if you give them old brood comb.. Basically tearaway the bottom of the cells for 2-3 rows.
 

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I've had my queen-right hives become queenless when I added queenless swarms to them, so I have to advise against anyone else doing it. It would be much safer to add a frame with a good amount of eggs on it, and perhaps another frame of stores to the queenless swarm. Much safer this way.
 

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Of course a football sized swarm, CAN, make it, if, size were the only consideration. After all, observation hives are far less than the size of a football.

I would proceed as outlined above. Give then open brood, let them raise a queen, or kick start them to working. Feed until they can feed themselves.

cchoganjr
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok.. thanks for the input.. I put an internal feeder with them this am and will add some brood from another hive this evening if I can get there in time.

thanks again for the advice.
 
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