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Yesterday I hived a swarm (my first) from one of my April packages. Rather unexpected as I had just added hive bodies the day before. Luckily the small swarm (football size) was at the base of a fir tree tranplant not far away and easy to retrieve.

How long should I wait to check on the hive and also the one that I think it absconded from?

Also, should I expect more swarms? No matter how much one reads, it just ain't the same as experience! Thanks in advance for any feedback!
 

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The answer would be somewhat different depending if you are using drawn comb or foundation. My rule is to give a new swarm 7 to 10 days before I peek in on the girls to see how they are doing. For the old hive a peek is ok now and again, just be careful about doing any major manipulation. The new queen should emerge in 3 to 4 days and be mated two weeks later. The new queen until mated and laying is a bit fragile and subject to being murdered by her own if you rattle the hive too much. Also any observation of the old hive early on risk that you will damage existing queen cells and accidently create a permanently queenless hive.
 

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Seems very odd that package bees hived in April would be swarming within 2 months. I guess it could happen if you let them get too crowded. Something’s not right here. How far away was the swarm to the colony you think it came from?

I would check the hive you believe they swarmed from now, and the swarm in 11 or 14 days after hiving, there should be a little capped brood by then.

But my guess is that the swarm you found did not come from this colony.

BTW,

absconding is when the entire colony abandons a hive due to stress or other reason.

Swarming is when a portion of a colony and generally the old queen fly out to start a new colony.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nope, they are Italians. And thanks for letting me know about "absconding" vs "swarming"...you can spot a newbie a mile away, right!

Believe it or not...Another swarm today. And yep, they were from my hives, I saw it coming and was too late to react appropriately. They had all but a couple of frames drawn on each side and had had enormous hatches in the past two weeks. Very busy hives. So I added boxes a few days ago. One of the three packages was somewhat diddly, but I added a frame of brood from one of the strong ones...and that was one of the swarmers...did I goof to steal a brood frame? I did brush off the bees before installing.

Another question for you more experienced folks??? One of the newly hived swarms seems to have "absconded?" from the hive I dumped it in this morning and relocated to a hive I set up later today. I had hoped to attract any further swarms to it. The only difference between the hives was that I baited the new one with a few drops of lemon juice. What gives???
 

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>Yesterday I hived a swarm (my first) from one of my April packages. Rather unexpected as I had just added hive bodies the day before.

IF they were planning to swarm, adding room will not stop them. Certianly one day of more room will make no difference whatsoever. The preparations for swarming started weeks ago.

But I've never seen a package swarm the first year. I suppose if it's crowded enough it would, but I haven't seen it.

>How long should I wait to check on the hive and also the one that I think it absconded from?

IF it absconded there won't be much of anything left. The sooner you check the better. IF it swarmed, then it might be nice to see what's there, but you won't see eggs from the new queen for a couple of weeks at least.

>Also, should I expect more swarms? No matter how much one reads, it just ain't the same as experience!

ONE swarm from a new package is doubtful, but once they make up their mind, afterswarms aren't out of the question.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys for the info. I am going to briefly check the hives today. I don't know if this makes any difference, but all of my foundation is Pierco and the hives that swarmed are in polystyrene boxes. My piddly hive is wooden.
 

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Oh, and as an aside...there are no beekeepers anywhere near me and honeybees were becoming almost nonexistent around here till I brought in mine. We were mainly populated by the native species of polinators.
 

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A related question, if I may...
A swarm adopted the empty hive I left out with lemon grass oil as a lure. This was a week ago Wednesday. I checked them today for the first time and had loads o' bee's and found a nice queen. Lots of nectar and are drawing comb out nicely in the upper chamber(half drawn comb/half empty frames for foundationless). I need new bifocals so I was not able see well enough to determine for sure if I had eggs or brood. Sure I had no capped brood...that much I can see with my currents specs.
Here's the question....how long before such a swarm typically starts having eggs/brood? I'll need to wait a little longer, get new glasses or have a friend with me next time I check this one! Thanks.
Barry
 
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