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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
inspection a few days ago and i found a swarm , about a pound or so on the ground, near the hives. did not see a queen, but she may have been there. i sprayed them with a little sugar water and tried to get them in a nuc. they immediately came back out and clustered on the ground. left a nuc there with some lemon grass oil, they would not go in. nuc had drawn comb. checked today, the swarm is a bout 20 feet away, and still on the ground. any idea whats going on? my bees get regular mite checks and treatments as necessary
 

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I can only relate to my similar experience; I treat my hives. Same small ground swarm as you but saw a queen and weeks later realized shw had deformed wings and was obviously a virgin. So there must be a queen somewhere even though she might be small. There is a reason it is a ground swarm, she probably can’t fly. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i checked this morning, they are still there on the ground. i took a few 2x2 boards, set them on either side of the swarm and set a nuc with no bottom over the the swarm. with any luck, maybe they will climb up in the nuc.
 

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Put a frame of uncapped brood in the nuc and the bees will to to it. I think you will be wasting time on this swarm, every swarm I have found on the ground failed to increase it's numbers enough to overwinter.
 

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Even though AR is probably right I’d give it a go anyway. I’d bet there is a queen there. Caught a small swarm last year at this time in a 6a climate. Put them in 1/2 of a resource hive a fed them like crazy. Also set them beside a boomer for winter and insulated. Also treated until zero mites. Overwintered just fine. 4 x 4 setup is key. Also dropped 3 frames of honey over them. You can do it. Just no margin for error.
 
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