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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My all medium hive that swarmed last week. (which I caught and put into another new hive) I was amazed how many bees where in this swam. Overfilled one medium with 10 frames. So I added a second medium.

I did a FULL check on my source, 'swarmed' hive today. TONS of bees with drones too. Of course I could not find a queen. (I'm bad at it)

Lots of stores, lots of capped brood. I could not see any uncapped brood or eggs at all. There are maybe 8-10 queen cells.

What would the experts do? I'd like to prevent another swarm. Should I let nature take its course, hopefully hatch a queen? Or should I quickly order a mated queen and try to install it?

My issue with installing a mated queen is - if there is a hatched queen there already, do I have to find her and kill/remove her for the newly purchased queen install to work? Or can I just install as if its a new package?

Many thanks, hate to loose this hive to another swarm.
 

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Reduce the queen cell stock to two so there won't be after swarming. The cell will be about as fast and more reliable than getting a new queen ordered, shipped and released. Best to add a couple supers if there are lots of bees and stay out of there for four weeks. Then if you end up queenless, recombine the swarm with the original colony, but be careful handling it. The bees often supercede the queen that goes with the swarm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks all! Great advice.

The darn bees in my original swarm hive are behaving in a similar way to when just before they swarmed last week. Many of the m just hanging around the front stoop.

How does a secondary swarm happen if there is no queen to lead them away?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So the source hive is acting exactly as it did right before it swarmed. The bees just hang out on the stoop.
The picture is from 8:15 tonight. Its now 8:35, its dark out and the bees are still not in the hive. Any ideas on whats going on and whats going to happen next? I'm hoping they don't swarm again.

photo.jpg
 

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divide the swarm hive with a queen cells in each divide. You will then have three or four hives. It will not swarm again.
 

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Your original queen went with the swarm. Make splits like odfrank says, you'll have extra hives and the original hive will not swarm again this year. Put one QC in each split. I put two QCs in one split and it swarmed when the first queen emerged. I had put three frames of mostly capped brood and shook additional bees in the split so there were a lot of bees when she emerged I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: my source hive swarmed just about two weeks after its first swarm. Huge amount of bees. I easily caught the swarm, stored them in a box overnight and hived them this AM in a new hive I built last night. I can't imagine there are many bees left in the original hive. Ugh. I wonder if all this swarming is typical. Makes bee keeping an expensive and time consuming operation if the intent is to capture swarms and hive them.
 

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It seems that every area is getting lots of swarming this year. Not sure if the long, cold winter did it or what. Last year I had four or five swarms in the spring (that I know of) and two or three in the fall. This year there have been 11 that I know of (caught all of them!). Seems to be lots of talk on BeeSource about how many swarms there are this year also. Like you said, you can go broke building or buying hives, frames, foundation, etc.
 

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After the original hive swarmed it's important that the two cells you leave are on the same frame. That way the first one out will find and kill the other. If their on different frames and they both come out they may fight it out or one may take a swarm and leave.

It's always a good idea to take one of the capped cells and three frames of brood and put in a nuc. It doubles your chances of one making it back from her mating flights.
This is just my opinion.
Woody Roberts
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Source hive swarmed for the THIRD time! WTH! Caught the swarm and boxed into a cardboard box while I try to figure out what do do with them.

Put an ad on Craigslist, $50. Guy's driving an hour for the swarm. Guess I'm not charging enough!

I can't imagine there are many bees left in this hive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
divide the swarm hive with a queen cells in each divide. You will then have three or four hives. It will not swarm again.
I should have taken your advice, the swarm hive has now swarmed THREE times. I've caught each swarm, hived the 1st two, boxed the 3rd thats going to someone from craigslist. Not sure what to do with this source hive.
 

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NE Ohio: Just caught a swarm in my bait log Sat. Last year I caught 4 swarms in the same log. Source, feral hive in the woods. No other bees in my area for miles.
 

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NE Ohio: Just caught a swarm in my bait log Sat. Last year I caught 4 swarms in the same log. Source, feral hive in the woods. No other bees in my area for miles.
Sometimes it feels like this: From Monty Python's "King of Swamp Castle: When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England. "

I've had one hive that I pulled the queen and places it in a nuc. The original hive swarms twice, I caught the first swarm which I check after three weeks and it didn't have a queen. Original queen swarmed in nuc, hit the trees and it's gone. Original hive goes queenless after another swarms and I put a carni hive on top of it and did a combined, solved that problem. Queen cell in nuc hatches out and lays down three good frames of brood and about four queen cells. It looks like they were trying to swarm today so I pull a frame of brood that has three queen cells that I place in a new nuc. The original new queen was seen put I'm sick of messing with her, if she swarms, she swarms. This stock was from one of our fellow beekeepers on BeeSource, I would say who but it really doesn't matter, some bees just love to swarm and I was luck enough to buy her last year. So you think italian stock would swarm more that a carni stock? Anyone take that bet?
 
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