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Arthur, the original hive can have a laying queen in 2-4 weeks depending on how developed the queen cells where and how quickly the new queen mates. I would still suggest you take out all but two queen cells to prevent after swarms, if you haven't already. You would need to be very careful with the two you leave, to not injure them. In a few more days, the cells could start to emerge by the end of the week, since we don't know developed they were at swarm time. Once they start to emerge, you need to stay out of the hive for at least 2 weeks, 3 if you can stand it, so you don't disturb the new queen and possibly cause a failure in the process.

If you don't take out the extra queen cells there's a possibility of after swarms by the weekend into next week early. If that single deep below the excluder is still packed, they could do that an loose more bees. Watch for them if you don't take out cells. Up to you. After swarms will have one or more virgin queens in them, and they wouldn't start laying for 2 -4 weeks too.

Like gww says, the bucket bees could be laying in a few days or a week. they could go sooner if you gave them drawn comb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Maybe I am not right here, but I remember either read somewhere or saw somewhere that 1st hatched queen goes all over the hive and destroys the other queen cells to hope that she'll the only one, and if 2 or more queens hatch at the same time they they battle till one of them wins and survives.
So, even without my interaction, I hope there won't be any after-swarm.
In the original hive, I saw bees already working in the middle of top (3rd) supper and had drawn comb yesterday.

Today I checked the new hive visually - there was no flight yet (I hope soon I'll see some bees flying in and out), but saw hand-full of bees on the screened bottom board dead. I didn't give them any drawn comb, but gave them plastic foundation and sugar syrup.
Hope it will survive.
 

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Arthur, many times that's what happens, the first queen can kill all the cells. If the colony determines more swarms are in order, the first virgin queens can swarm again too. It can go either way, but a crowded colony would lean towards more swarming in my estimation.

If you don't plan to manage the hives with the exculders on, or don't know how yet, you may be better off eliminating them and let the hives grow as they wish with more brood area. Your single deep could swarm often without the right intervention. single deeps are used that way by some keeps, but closer management is needed.
 

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Reading through this tread, it sounds like you don't have enough equipment ready, Arthur. You will need more boxes than you currently have as they start to build up during the flow. You cannot expect that they will not swarm if you keep them in only two boxes.

It sounded like you had to assemble and paint a box for this swarm you caught... you should be assembling and painting more right now if you don't want to have another panicked situation.

Edit: I see from the picture you have three boxes... I stand by what I said. You can't expect they will stay in 3 boxes. Make more now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Thanks for advises, I really appreciate them.
Yes, I am short on equipment - I started last July and buy as I need. I don't have much space to keep extra stuff.

DanielD, do you think if I move excluder between 2nd and 3rd boxes, I'll prevent after-swarm?

As I am looking through the pictures and videos, beekeepers are usually have double-deep hives: broodiest + supper.
I thought I have enough space for bees.
I put excluder between 1st and second boxes to keep the broodiest in bottom box and have honey production in top 2 boxes and never thought that 3rd box might get drawn this fast and even used at all.
As I pulled it up, it was already heavy and noticed that middle 1-2 frames were already drawn (didn't check how much they are filled up)
 

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Arthur, I would eliminate the excluder until you understand it's usefulness and how to manage the hive with one, especially a single deep. Removing the excluder may help reduce an after swarm, but do it asap. There are many opinions, so it's up to you, but 2 deeps is the space generally needed for the brood nest. You can get the same space in 3 mediums which I have done before this year. Limiting the brood nest below what it can utilize will result in several swarms through the year. After those 2 deeps, or 3 mediums for brood, you need extra storage space, which will be harvest potential honey after the main flow. I have an average of 3 mediums, after the brood area, available for possible harvest honey in case it's a banner year. That would be 2 deeps and 3 mediums per colony. You wouldn't need that many supers, at least 2, but you may have to extract and replace them if it's a good honey year. I don't know your potential where you are. I have seen enough honey harvest here that would fill 3 mediums. I would get more boxes as McBean wrote, but I understand the lack of storage space. I don't have that issue here. You can build up extra and sell things, honey and/or bees if you don't have the room.

Regarding your other hive, if it's going strong like the first one, it may be a week or two behind the other one regarding swarming. There's a lot to learn and understand about swarm signs, swarm prep, then wintering, and on and on. Bees take a lot of info and learning experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Ok ...

If my "original" hive is crowded (maybe yet), can I take some bees and shake them into the "new" hive instead of doing "newspaper" join?
 

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Ok ...

If my "original" hive is crowded (maybe yet), can I take some bees and shake them into the "new" hive instead of doing "newspaper" join?
If you have done a thorough inspection, and there are no queen cells or cups with eggs, then just put another box on top.
 

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Artur, right now you need to leave everything as it is, except for removing the excluder. The colony can't be disturbed during re queening or it can fail. The original hive will take till early next week to have a queen emerge, then 1-3 weeks before it starts laying, then 3 more week before first brood emerges, so it's population will be reduced a lot by then, and then stay steady for a while. In 5 weeks a lot of foragers will die off, then continue to while new brood emerges. It may even fail to re queen, then you'd need to combine the swarm back to salvage them.

If you don't want more bees and more boxes, after everything is settled, you won't have a hard time finding someone to buy your swarm hive as a nuc. Then you can buy more wood, or just trade the swarm for wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Thank you, DanielD.

I believe this is becoming a good thread for someone who will be dealing with this kind of situation in the future.

I just was wondering: I haven't done any varroa mite treatment this year yet - when is the time to do the treatment?
Will treating or not treating hurt "queen producing" process?

In case that queen doesn't emerge well, I can get a queen from local supplier.
They are saying that queens will be available mid-may - I didn't ask if one is available now.
If one is available today - is it a good idea to get it and introduce to old hive?
 

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You're welcome Artur. I hope it's useful to someone. I don't know what your mite treatments have been in the past, or what you intend this year. One thing about swarming is a brood break, which can reduce the varroa pressure, but it's smarter to do mite checks first to see if it's needed or not. There are enough threads regarding mite checks, so I don't want to type out another one, especially with my lack of experience. If you just treat at certain intervals, like spring and fall, the swarm hive would be in a good position to be treated since it's without capped brood. OAV would be good at that time. One treatment even would get a good portion of them.

With the requeening hive, I would wait till it has eggs laid, then treat before capped brood with OAV. I am not the best source of mite treatments info, and have only used OAV last fall after I saw some at slight risk numbers with alcohol wash.

Buying a queen or waiting is your call. Personally, at this time of year, I would let them re queen. Swarm cells are good cells for queen production, and you have a strong enough hive, maybe good to have more of the same. If you introduced one, you'd have to get rid of all the queen cells and emerged virgin queens, etc.before you can intro it. Then you'd have to be concerned with acceptance of the queen, and if it's viable. If you wanted more colonies yet, you can further split the original hive and let a couple queen rearing attempts happen. Then you'd increase the odds of a good queen, maybe more. Every split would need a couple cells in it. You could make it into more than 2 if you have enough bees and boxes. You are running short of time before emerging virgin queens though. Emerging could happen by the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
DanielD,
As you were expecting, my 2nd hive swarmed today :( but I was successful to get it again. Now they are in a bucket :)

It looks my swarm-hive (1st swarm from 1st hive) is not doing well - I opened it today and noticed no comb, nothing - just hand full of bees rumbling around together.
Is it ok if I dump new caught swarm to the same place leaving those hand full of bees in it?

It looks my 1st hive was doing "after swarm" today: id did look like that (2 hours apart), and they got hanged under their original hive.
After cleaning what hanged underneath of the hive, the rest of the bees decided to go back to their home. What was that?
 

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The 1st swarm sounds like it absconded from the box. I would use it for your new swarm. I don't know if I would worry about the handful of bees, but I would shake them out a few feet away right before you put the new swarm inside. I would also add a frame of brood, since you have crowded hives, to anchor the swarm in the hive and get them started.

The first hive 'swarm' that went back could be a practice session for tomorrow. It would be a good idea to go into the second colony and get rid of extra swarm cells. Be gentle with the frames, and they shouldn't emerge for a week or so, so you don't have to do that right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I think what happened to the 1st swarm / 1st hive - the bees from swarm flew back to their original hive and that's why it got crowded again and decided to do so swarming flight. (this can be just unexperienced beekeeper opinion).

Since both hives are in after swarm condition, is it a good idea to go in and mess-up the hive to take the frame of brood from them?

I can dump the 2nd swarm into the box and see what's happening - hope they'll do ok.

As a new beekeeper I know I'll do some mistakes, but don't want to do too many.
I don't want to create inhabitable conditions for my neighbors also :)
 

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The first hive can get crowded back up fast with brood emerging after the swarm left. I don't know that a swarm would go back to the original hive after a few days being gone, but not sure about that. Since you don't know what's up in the first hive, let it play out I guess.

The second hive will have queen cells for a few more days. You should just go in and destroy all but 2 cells, and be careful with the cells you keep. Treat them as fragile and keep them upright without jarring them. The darker the cells, the older the cell and the sooner the queen will emerge and get mated. You don't have to take a frame of brood for the swarm. It just helps lock them in the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Thank you DanielD.

I opened the "swarm-hive" this morning and there were about orange size crowd of bees which through this time didn't built anything.
I went through the cloud and didn't see any queen (my original queens were marked) - I was suspecting that the 1st swarm queen either didn't make it or died during the transition.
So there was no reason, I guess, to give those bees a chance.
I remove them and shook them, as you suggested, few feet away (but it looked that later they came back to the "swarm-hive" their new home), replace the entrance location and dumped the new (2nd) swarm into the hive, which bees started flying around immediately, but instead of waiting for them to suck-in to the hive, I put my sugar-block shim and closed the hive as quick as possible.

I don't know if this triggered some bees to go back home or not, but lots of bees appeared infant of their original hive and they were kind of triggered.

I really appreciate your suggestion to go into the hive and destroy the queen cells to leave only 2 there, but since I am not that experienced, I am hesitating to do that.
I think the situation now is very sensitive for both hives and little mess can create big trouble.
Maybe I am moving too secure way.
I also found this booklet to read: www.wbka.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Swarm-Control-Wally-Shaw.pdf
It looks I have to rearrange my boxes to put the "new" boxes underneath, but waiting till all this swarm/queen story ends then do something.

I would let the swarms go, but don't want them to end-up in my neighbors properties and bug them.
I also didn't collect any honey last year since I just started and want to collect at least some this year :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Again :(

The 1st hive did swarm again today and this time didn't come back :( Some of them did and some of them didn't :(
This is really frustrating cause they go and settle on neighbors tree, and this time they settle on nasty neighbors tree and very high so it was not so possible to reach them :( I hope they will not bother neighbors around later on.

I don't like the genetics of this hive much - they are too defensive.
How can I make sure they will NOT produce any queen later on? Destroy all the queen cells?

I really want to re-queen this hive.

Thanks for all the help and support.
 

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Artur, your second hive swarmed, so there are extra queen cells in it right now, but only for the next day or two. You could take one or two of them to put in the first hive, but the problem is, you'd have to eliminate the virgin queen that's probably in there right now. Virgin queens can be hard to find though. You can purchase a new queen, but same problem, you'd have to eliminate the current virgin queen. The first hive surely has all the queen cells emerged by now, or close to it.

The new queen that ends up in the first hive could calm the bees down too, but that will take 4-8 weeks when the current bees are all died off. Same with a purchased queen.

I would let them go for a while if I were you, since you may not feel comfortable finding the virgin queen. Right now, till all the dust is settled, there could be more than one virgin in there and make it harder still. Have they been defensive just lately? They could be defensive because of swarming, or being overcrowded, who knows. Once the new queen is laying for a couple months, see how they behave. It would be easier to find the old queen to eliminate after it's laying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
They were defensive since after a month I got them (I got 2 nucs in July 2016), so it was always hard to work with them.

The 2nd hive was a better choice, they were ok when I was doing things "right".

So, 1st hive has a virgin queen in it now? If that's the case, I am sure it will be hard to find her.
Also, the 1st hive might have multiple virgin queens in it? shouldn't they fight to make sure there is only 1 queen in the hive?
How many after-swarms should I expect?
 

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The colony will get itself to one virgin, generally, but you don't know where they are at in that process. And, yes, there's always another swarm possibility, but it surely is diminished by now. Since you're not comfortable doing manipulations, it's probably best to let it play out now. If you had the resources, you could pull some frames for a nuc out of the first hive, but in a cell from the second, and then have one more opportunity to mate a queen. You could then get rid of the queen in the original hive if it's still aggressive, and combine them. But, you'd need to know where the virgin queen is. You could split the remaining colony in two, and just add a cell in each to cover all the possibilities.

I would really consider reducing the cells in the second hive if you can. You just take one outer frame out, set it aside for more room, then one frame at a time, look for swarm cells. the bees can hide them if they are thick on the comb. blow or brush them away. One of the first frames you find cells on, eliminate all but one, then put that frame gently back. Now you'd know you have one cell safe, so go through the rest and leave another in the next box. Keep the best looking cells, not ones that are short and punny, or damaged by moving them. If you keep after swarms away, the second box may store some honey for you.

A big question Artur, would be where do you want to be in keeping? Do you want more hives, only 2-3, etc?
 
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