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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just split one of my strong hives by moving frames of eggs and brood to a new hive and will let the bees make a new queen. When I was working on the old source hives, I accidentally damaged swarm cells as I pulled out the frames. I could see in one of them that it was still was not too far from the larvae stages, i.e. did not look at all like a bee yet.

I am wondering how if the old queen may have already swarmed because much of the honey that was in there two weeks ago is gone. What is the typical time from when the old queen swarms and the new queen emerges? Based upon the appearance of the damaged swarm cell, it was not going to be a queen for over a week or more. I have also heard that even if the swarm cells are destroyed, the old queen may still swarm if it is fairly close to the time the new queens would have emerged. I don't want to end up with a queenless hive since I moved the frame with the eggs to the new hive. Thanks, Jim
 

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The first queen cell is usually just capped before the old queen leaves (primary swarm). Seven days later that queen usually emerges and if they afterswarm she will lead the first one. The next queen could emerge the next day and they afterswarm again, she will lead this one. So, if there are lot of afterswarms and the weather does not postpone things too much, you have the first swarm, and seven days later the first after swarm and a day later another after swarm etc. until they are done.

Now back to your scenario. Assume the old queen swarmed and the first virgin does not and instead is going to be the next queen, so they let her kill the others. It will probably be three weeks from the primary swarm to when that first virgin will be laying eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Michael, I found eggs in the hive, so a queen must have been in there within the past couple of days. I heard they shut the queen down for a while before they swam. Since I found eggs this afternoon, does mean the old queen probably is still in there? Also, can they take as much as several frames of honey with them when they swarm? Thanks, Jim
 

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>I found eggs in the hive, so a queen must have been in there within the past couple of days. I heard they shut the queen down for a while before they swam.

Mostly yes. Not completely, no.

> Since I found eggs this afternoon, does mean the old queen probably is still in there?

Or she was there three days ago... or a new queen just started laying... I don't know enough detail to come to a conclusion...

> Also, can they take as much as several frames of honey with them when they swarm?

The all tank up before they leave and several pounds of bees can carry a significant amount of honey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
>I found eggs in the hive, so a queen must have been in there within the past couple of days. I heard they shut the queen down for a while before they swam.

Mostly yes. Not completely, no.

> Since I found eggs this afternoon, does mean the old queen probably is still in there?

Or she was there three days ago... or a new queen just started laying... I don't know enough detail to come to a conclusion...

> Also, can they take as much as several frames of honey with them when they swarm?

The all tank up before they leave and several pounds of bees can carry a significant amount of honey.
Michael,

The old hive has not swarmed yet this year, so I am pretty sure there was not another queen in there laying. The eggs were still up on end like they were just laid and they were in a nice pattern in the middle of the frame like normal brood. I am afraid to go into the hive again and check further because I don't want to accidentally ruin any other swarm cells that might be hanging down in there. I already had broken two of them. Should I just wait to weeks and see if I find a new queen or normal eggs/larvae? I don't want to wait too long and end up developing a laying worker.

Also, I moved one of the swarm cells to the new hive along with several frames of brood and the one frame of eggs. Since there is a swarm cell in that newly started hive, will that stop the workers from trying to make new queens from the eggs? If so, I can move the frame with the eggs back to the old original hive so they can make a new queen from the eggs if there are no more swarm cells in there. Thanks, Jim
 
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