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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My last year's hive swarmed and went up in a tree about 50' away from the hive and 15' up on a tree limb. I was able to throw a trap together really quick and got it hung underneath it about 6' off the ground. I didn't have any drawn out frames to put in the trap due to the speed I had to throw it together and I was hanging it at 9pm so I wasn't going into an existing hive to rob some at that time of night. It has 5 frames with foundation in it. The swarm is still up in the tree but I see a lot of bees going in and out of the trap. I can't tell if the swarm has drawn out comb on the limb they are congregated on but I was wondering, how long should it take them to move? Will they move if there is comb up there? Will they draw some comb out before they move to the trap? I can't easily get inside the trap to see what is going on as the cover is screwed on.

Also as a side note, the original hive seems to be queenless and still massive even given the swarm. They are much louder than normal when I opened the hive and more aggressive which I have read are good indicators there isn't one. I can find no eggs and everything in the hive is either capped or the larvae that are about to be capped. There are a large number of empty cells. I fear I destroyed some of the swarm cells trying to inspect the hive as they were built spanning the frames between the upper and lower brood boxes so I ripped them apart pulling the frames out. I found one intact queen cell that looked like a queen had emerged. It was fully drawn out but there was no cap on it. It was empty so maybe she has already emerged, if so would they still be loud and aggressive if she isn't laying yet? I know the queen can leave before the new queen emerges, my question is how long should I wait to see if I actually have a queen or if I inadvertently destroyed her.

I have a brand new hive that I just setup. Once that queen is released would pulling one frame she laid in and swapping it with a capped brood from the old hive be a good move to get them to create a new queen?
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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My last year's hive swarmed and went up in a tree about 50' away from the hive and 15' up on a tree limb. I was able to throw a trap together really quick and got it hung underneath it about 6' off the ground. I didn't have any drawn out frames to put in the trap due to the speed I had to throw it together and I was hanging it at 9pm so I wasn't going into an existing hive to rob some at that time of night. It has 5 frames with foundation in it. The swarm is still up in the tree but I see a lot of bees going in and out of the trap. I can't tell if the swarm has drawn out comb on the limb they are congregated on but I was wondering, how long should it take them to move? Will they move if there is comb up there? Will they draw some comb out before they move to the trap? I can't easily get inside the trap to see what is going on as the cover is screwed on.

Also as a side note, the original hive seems to be queenless and still massive even given the swarm. They are much louder than normal when I opened the hive and more aggressive which I have read are good indicators there isn't one. I can find no eggs and everything in the hive is either capped or the larvae that are about to be capped. There are a large number of empty cells. I fear I destroyed some of the swarm cells trying to inspect the hive as they were built spanning the frames between the upper and lower brood boxes so I ripped them apart pulling the frames out. I found one intact queen cell that looked like a queen had emerged. It was fully drawn out but there was no cap on it. It was empty so maybe she has already emerged, if so would they still be loud and aggressive if she isn't laying yet? I know the queen can leave before the new queen emerges, my question is how long should I wait to see if I actually have a queen or if I inadvertently destroyed her.

I have a brand new hive that I just setup. Once that queen is released would pulling one frame she laid in and swapping it with a capped brood from the old hive be a good move to get them to create a new queen?
ok so these are opinions as in 5 keepers will give you 5 different answers.
If they are visiting the trap then there is a chance they go in there, "most of the time" they "emerge" Am 10ish till 12 noon, scout and find a place, agree and go there early the next day. Only other thing to maybe do is set up a second trap 4--80 yards away and hope you have 2 times the chance to catch it.

For the next question If you found open Q cell that virgin can be in the swarm. they often have several q cells so they should be covered, IF you on purpose or accidentally destroyed the rest of them you may be in trouble. it take time for the virgin to mate and start laying, givve them 3 or 4 days then go in "slowly"

Next question no do not mess with the new house, you seem to be able to create problems, when none were there to start with. I am not trying to discourage you but the hive you destroyed the remaining Q cells in may have an issue due to you going in and mucking around. I get it, I would have done the same thing. The old hive "should" have a queen still left in there, let her mate and see what gives. Absolute worst case in 10 days no queen, loud roar, you could give a frame of eggs, or combine , or order a queen.

have a good reason to do something , think it thru first, then be prepared to change based on the actual of what you see.

I would have looked for the queen cells from the bottom , by tilting up, and not removed the frames until I see one that was connected in 1 place. I have been where you are too many times. too many queens one day to few the next :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The unfortunate part is I didn't realize they had a swarmed until after I had pulled the frames and damaged the swarm cells. I was thinking that maybe they were about to swarm when I saw the cells. It was the first warm dry day I had that I actually was home to do anything so I was going in to inspect it for the first time. It wasn't until my wife noticed the big clump in the tree that I realized what had happened. That hive must have been truly packed because there was still enough bees to have made me believe everything was normal. At that point the damage was done so I went ahead and explored the hive to see if I could find the queen. This is only year two for me and beekeeping so I have zero experience with swarming. Lesson learned with that one.

As of tonight the clump in the tree looks about half the size it was and there is massive activity at the swarm trap with bees constantly going in and out. The good news is what I thought may have been comb by the shape of the bees was just the bees themselves congregating in that configuration. Setting up another trap is not really an option at this point. I had enough scraps to build a single trap and with the COVID-19 stuff going on everything is shut down in my area.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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The unfortunate part is I didn't realize they had a swarmed until after I had pulled the frames and damaged the swarm cells. I was thinking that maybe they were about to swarm when I saw the cells. It was the first warm dry day I had that I actually was home to do anything so I was going in to inspect it for the first time. It wasn't until my wife noticed the big clump in the tree that I realized what had happened. That hive must have been truly packed because there was still enough bees to have made me believe everything was normal. At that point the damage was done so I went ahead and explored the hive to see if I could find the queen. This is only year two for me and beekeeping so I have zero experience with swarming. Lesson learned with that one.

As of tonight the clump in the tree looks about half the size it was and there is massive activity at the swarm trap with bees constantly going in and out. The good news is what I thought may have been comb by the shape of the bees was just the bees themselves congregating in that configuration. Setting up another trap is not really an option at this point. I had enough scraps to build a single trap and with the COVID-19 stuff going on everything is shut down in my area.
the swarm could have split if it had several Queens. Massive activity is a good thing you may have captured some of the swarm.
if the limb at 15 feet has open area beneath it. one could place a tarp or blanket on the ground, shake the limb vigorously, using a 15 foot stick or pipe or 2x4, immediately pull the tarp over and set the trap on edge of it, it, they may just crawl in.
Yes lots to learn, every one is new at some point. I did the shake last year, see picture.
GG
Swarm.jpg
 
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