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Found several capped swarm cells on 2 or 3 frames in the top brood box of one of my strong hives on May 7th. Performed an artificial swarm by moving the queen and 3 frames of brood, pollen, and honey to a 5 frame nuc…well, yesterday May18, I witnessed my first swarm…it was fascinating to see, but unfortunately it was the hive that I performed the artificial swarm on the 7th. The swarm came to rest high up in a tree, much too high to retrieve.

So, my concern is that the parent hive is now queen-less since I removed the queen and now the hive has swarmed…

1. In this scenario, it is typical for the newly emerged queen to kill the other queens that have not yet emerged or will she simply join the swarm leaving the hive with QC's and a potential future queen?

2. The other concern is that the hive will cast additional swarms?…or maybe not since it has been 12 days now?

3. Just wondering if I should get in there to see what is going on or leave it alone for a week and then check for a mated queen? Patience vs. curiosity?

Your thoughts?

Tommy
 

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Give them a frame of open brood and eggs. If they need to make a queen, they will have the resources they need.
 

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A colony will swarm several times after the original queen leaves with the prime swarm, each afterswarm will have a virgin queen with it. The description the books give of the first virgin out killing the rest of the cells, or virgins fighting to the death, seldom happens. If cells have queens that are emerging close to the same time, then the first virgins out will leave rather than fight. In strong colonies swarms will continue until the adult bee population is only strong enough for them to care for any brood remaining in the colony. The first afterswarm usually leaves the colony 8 days after the prime swarm departs, and others will leave in 2 to 4 day intervals. The later swarms may have only enough bees to be the size of an orange or grapefruit. Some swarm will have several virgins in it, you will often see caught swarms that not all of the bees will enter the box, or all or most of the bees will abscond. This is usually caused by having multiple virgins that flee instead of fight.

When you removed the original queen to a nuc you should have gone through the colony and removed all of the swarm cells but one. The book says leave 2 cells, but my experience is that the first virgin to emerge still swarms. After removing the queen and removing excess cells, you will need to inspect the colony for more cells made after the first are removed. Usually the colony will continue to make cells as long as they have eggs/larvae of the proper age. The older writers give methods of preventing afterswarms by moving colonies to different locations in the bee yard, and leaving a nuc or caught swarm at the original location to catch the foragers that return there. They state that cell will not have to be cut, but when I tried those methods the colony still cast afterswarms.

I think you will have an emerged virgin or remaining cells in your colony when you check.
 

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I would be more concerned with the queen in the nuc. Get her into a ten frame box or your going to lose her too. The parent hive isn't going let a swarm issue unless they have the recourses to have a queen for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
AR Beekeeper...Good information about newly emerged queen tendencies. Thanks…and yes, I will remove all but one cell next time I try this maneuver. I inspected this afternoon and did not see a queen. All the cells were empty and several had been torn down or were in process of being torn down. She may be in there and I just missed her as there were a ton of bees still in the hive...could hardly tell they swarmed…!

Gunter62…good idea about giving them a frame of eggs and open brood…didn't get to this evening…ran out of daylight…should be able to do that this week…

rwlaw…good advice…I put a second 5 frame nuc box on top of the existing nuc box this evening…running out of equipment with all these splits…!

Sometimes I wonder if it is best to just let them do their thing and stay out of the way…! But where is the fun in that huh? :)

Hoping for a mated queen in a few days and/or a queen cell with the frame of eggs and open brood…not sure what else to do at this point…!

Thanks,
Tommy
 

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So, my concern is that the parent hive is now queen-less since I removed the queen and now the hive has swarmed…

1. In this scenario, it is typical for the newly emerged queen to kill the other queens that have not yet emerged or will she simply join the swarm leaving the hive with QC's and a potential future queen?
You really don't know how many potential after swarms you have inside that hive. The sure way is to do a hive inspection to assess the
situation before they swarm again.

2. The other concern is that the hive will cast additional swarms?…or maybe not since it has been 12 days now?
How many days does not matter because it is hard to keep track of the emerging queens. Look inside to see what's going on
tomorrow. I went inside all the time from the time the queens got capped to emerging, to mating and finally egg laying.

3. Just wondering if I should get in there to see what is going on or leave it alone for a week and then check for a mated queen? Patience vs. curiosity?
Just get in there to see. At least you know what is going on inside. And then make the necessary adjustment if needed.

Your thoughts? Need to go in to see what needs to be done, asap.
 
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