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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a call about a small swarm on Friday eve. After I got there gal told me the swarm had been balled up on her backyard concrete for going on 5 days. I'm guessing the swarm is about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds. I did not find a queen but after reading and speaking to a few local beek's I think they maybe queenless. I got them in a hive and brought them home. I was told to leave them alone til Tues or Wed and then go in and check for a queen. They are acting queenless, when I walk near the hive I get pinged.
My question is? Today is Aug 1, I live in No. Calif. - would it be better to combine with another hive( I have one that has been weak but has requeened in the past 2 weeks and is doing great but doesn't have a ton of bees) or requeen? I guess I don't particularly want another hive(I have 4) but I do have access to a new queen if that's whats best for the bees. And if combining is best - how do I do it?
Thanks for your help!!
 

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I would opt for giving them a comb of eggs/young larva from one of your other hives, see if they start any queen cells. If they don't start some by the next day, they most likely have a queen (possibly virgin or just slimmed down for swarming). If they do start queen cells, they are most likely queenless and it is probably good to combine them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll put a frame in this afternoon. Is it typical for a new swarm to be so nasty? One of my other hives was a early swarm and it's been a wonderful hive since day one.
 

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I have read that the typical gentle swarms are still full of honey that they gorged on before leaving. Once that is gone (or if they absconded without gorging for some reason) they are a "dry swarm" and are foul tempered.

So if they went for 5 days without finding a home that would explain it. Feed them and maybe they will calm down. If they don't you might not want their queen.
 
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