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wild swarm, HELP!!

2004 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  G3farms
a coworker told me about a swarm of bees on the side of her house the night before. being late at night and concerned for her young children, her husband simply sprayed the swarm with a whole can of wasp killer and walked away. they hadn't seen any bee activity in their yard or on their house before that night. i was excited and fearful to hear this and my father and i hurried out to catch them with a homemade bee vac. when we got there 2 days later ( it took time to build a bee vac) the swarm seemed to have retreated into tiny gaps between the facial board and the brickwork on her house and were coming out in 2 locations. we pried back the board to see the bees and saw 2 large masses where we saw activity. the first day, we sucked up as many as we possibly could. thinking this to be a wild swarm, we thought we had them all and the queen. we took them home and they seemed to settle into their new hive. the next day i received a text from my coworker's husband saying that he had just been stung and there was still a large amount of bees. my father and i went there again that night and saw almost as many bees as we had taken the day before. we filled up my bee vac again this time finding 3 pieces of comb about 6 to 8 square inches with thin pale "honey" in a few of the chambers, but the bee's activity dropped off because of nightfall, so we couldn't tell how many more there are in the wall. we still heard a significant amount of buzzing from one of the locations, but because of the location in an overhang it was hard to get the vacuum in much less see how many were left. we brought the bees home and put them in another hive body. the two hives both seem to be doing well. there's plenty of activity to suggest that we have a queen in both. i've just received another text from my coworker telling me that there are still a large amount of bees coming out of the wall.
it's obvious that the bees have been there much longer than we realized by the comb we found.
my question is: are the bees just lingering in the new hives because they don't know what else to do without the queens pheromones or is there a queen in both new hives. is it possible that we missed her both times or did we catch 2 separate swarms? the hives are next to each other and are not fighting or merging.
also, is there a third colony in the wall still? any advice would be helpful.


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It is very likely that you have missed the main portion of the colony. It will most likely be in the soffit. You can pull down one or two pieces of the vinyl soffit to see if that is so. It is also likely that you do not have the queen as she will usually retreat when you begin to disturb the colony.
it's wood behind the vinyl soffit. also, would the bees that we already have stay without the queen?
Then not so easy, but they are still probably above the wood in the soffit. They may stay, but with no queen they will become a laying worker hive in a month or so with no queen.
They may stay without a queen if you give them a couple frames of brood. If there are eggs on the frames, and they have no queen present, they will build queen cells around some of the newly hatched larva. If they do not build cells them you will have a good idea you have a queen.

However since they were sprayed, it may all be for naught!
Go back and get into the soffit of the house, if it is wood above it then you can cut it out and not worry about a neat repair since the vinyl will cover it up. Without the queen or eggs for the others to make a queen from they are doomed. If you are not going to do a cut out at least combine the bees you have with another colony.
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