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I noticed one of my strongest hives doing a practice swarm about two weeks ago. I opened the hive and found a number of capped queen cells and some in development. Looked for the queen but could not locate as it was full of bees. Decided to remove the cells, took some of the brood and bees away, and gave them foundation. Found new queen cells the following week but could not locate the queen again. Same drill, removed all the cells. However, I didn't see any eggs in brood boxes for the past two weeks. This past Sunday, I found several swarm cells (some capped, some in progress). Looked for the queen but couldn't find it. I didn't see any eggs either as brood boxes are getting back filled.

I placed a new queen under push-in cage but not sure whether I should release her. Pls advice.
 

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I am seeing the same thing in my two hives and it is like they are hell bent on swarming. No idea what to do besides wait and hope. I see capped, emerged, and new queen cells all over the place. I put some queen cells in a NUC and hopefully I can have one on standby just in case. But is has been a mess so far.
 

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If there are no eggs than your old queen is gone and they have been queenless for a while. They should be very accepting of a new queen. If you are still nervous, you can leave her in the cage for 48 hours and then release her.

Are your hives crowded? If they are, you can try moving some queen cells to another new hive, moving the original hive somewhere nearby, and put the new hive with the queen cells in its place. The foragers will return to the old hive location (new hive with the queen cells) and the new queen and the nurse bees will stay in the old hive at the new location. The foragers are the ones that make the decision to swarm, so if you get them out, your original hive will probably stop swarming behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If there are no eggs than your old queen is gone and they have been queenless for a while. They should be very accepting of a new queen. If you are still nervous, you can leave her in the cage for 48 hours and then release her.

Are your hives crowded? If they are, you can try moving some queen cells to another new hive, moving the original hive somewhere nearby, and put the new hive with the queen cells in its place. The foragers will return to the old hive location (new hive with the queen cells) and the new queen and the nurse bees will stay in the old hive at the new location.
I thought the queen was gone but was surprised to see new queen cells after removing them the second time.

The foragers are the ones that make the decision to swarm, so if you get them out, your original hive will probably stop swarming behavior.
Sounds like a good idea. Thanks
 

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I was not able to check the hive due to rain for the past few days. It appeared that the new queen was accepted just fine. Will check the hive next weekend to make sure all is well.
 
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