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I was called about a tree that blew over during our recent storms. The base had a huge colony inside. Most of the comb had fallen and crushed many of the bees so i was not sure that the queen had made it.

I used my beevac and got 10 lbs of bees out of the tree. I wired in some of the comb into frames and hived the bees. Most on the brood was dead in the comb and there was about a pound of dead bees in the hive after i dumped all the bees in.

They stayed in the hive for 2 days, today they absconded to a nearby tree. I tried to remove the swarm but it is in a very difficult spot. I got stung a bunch!!! this is no typical calm swarm.

Does this mean that the queen did survive and they are moving on to a better location, or does the feistiness of the bee mean that they are queenless? i re-hived the 1/2 of the swarm i captured on my first attempt, hoping i had the queen but i was not optimistic. it looks like they have all returned back to the tree.

Jamey
 

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OK - got the swarm out of the tree, was not easy. Got them in the hive, but they did not act like the typical swarm. They did not march in to the hive after the queen, many started flying. I soon noticed that they had all had begun settling on the next tree over. :doh:

This was a much easier location. I added an excluder and got all new equipment encase they did not like the original hive, maybe from the odor of the decaying bees and brood.

I shook this swarm into the new equipment with the queen excluder on the bottom and quickly covered the hive. within 5 minuits the bees were in the next tree over:doh:

I have given up on this swarm. there is no way they have a queen! There is no way that I missed her 3 times!

Any ideas?
 

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First and second attemp was in an old box. But the third and fourth was in new equipment. I dont have any lemongrass oil to try it, might see if i can find some tomorrow, if they are still around.

Anyone know the answer to the original post? Will they abscond or swarm without a queen?
 

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Abscond- the action of "all" bees leaving the hive due to extreme stress, disease,pests, or danger such as a fire! i say they are very stressed out and it doesnt matter if the queen is there or not!

I sure do hope you get them since you have earned it! hahaha
also the lemongrass oil might help even with the stress! You can get it at any health food store!
 

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To answer your original question, I don't know. The way to find out is to catch them.In fact this maybe a catch 22.
I also agree about stress.They seem to be more comfortable in the tree. Try hanging a 8 frame deep box trap up there in the tree. If they decide to turn themselves in,leave them alone for 2wks then bring them down.
Don't give up I'm curious what the answer is.
 

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well this morning they were gone from the last tree they were in. I left both hives where they were when I tried to hive them. They both have some activity in and out of them so maybe they moved into both of them.

I not going to mess with either for about a week and see if there is any real population in them at that time.

since they are queenless and have no brood to raise a queen from what would they do? If I had left them alone in the tree after it fell, what would all the surviving bees do, move into another colony?
 

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Gboy thx for sharing.I have the same thing going too now.Sat. afternoon watermelon size from branch to hive.Sat.eve. canalope size back in the cherry tree. Read Americas deff. of abscond. Sat. night put cantelope into hive #2 used sugar water and bucket very gently. Mon. added added pollen pack, and top feeder. Mon. night everyone was still in their house, but some new tennents moved in to a 7 frame trap,[on a fir tree 50 yds. up the hill.] My plan is to leave them alone for a week, and the look for the queen and add a queen to the queenless. I'm going to try to do a picture but it's 50/50.[URL="[/URL]
 

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Well I could not wait any longer. I was seeing a lot of activity at the last hive i used to try to hive this swarm. I carefully lifted the migratory cover and noticed it was quite heavy. The swarm was inside hanging off the cover inside.!!!:D

I added a frame of open brood, I don't think they have a queen. I am still 4 frames short in that have so I plan on adding then in a day or 2. I don't want them to add to much burr comb.

Very happy now. That cutout was a lot of work.Not fun to watch them fly off into the sunset!

JN
 

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Well I went into the hive today to add the additional frames. They had already drawn out 2 frames and they were full of EGGS!!!

So they must not have been queenless after all! I guess the excluder on the bottom did the trick. They are some feisty bees, popped me as soon as I moved the cover, but I like my bees a little feisty!
 

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After reading this, wanted to share how I hived my last swarm which I think I will do from now on...

A friend called just at sunset saying he had a swarm in his tree. I high-tailed it over right away with my swarm box. My swarm box is nothing but a medium super, completely empty, no frames, with a solid bottom nailed on and a screen on top. When I get there, I get the swarm in the box and put an excluder on top without the screen. When I'm satisfied I have the queen inside and all the bees I'll get, I quickly replace the excluder with a screen and put the excluder on top to hold the screen.

When he called, I was not going to be able to hive the swarm the next day. I wouldn't be able to do it until the day after that so what I decided to do was shake the bees to the bottom, quickly remove the screen and add a brood box with drawn comb on top and then the screen on top of that to hold them all in. I figured that would give them more than a day to work into the comb and start their new home. It worked like a charm. I had my wife keep them fed while I was away that day and then took them to their new site and put the hive together. They did well and took off in their new home.
 
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