..... Well I keep hearing about this tanging, so I got 2 pots and started rhythmically banging, worth a try right, I can't seem any crazier than the other nut jobs on my block. OK so here's the magic, the swarm picks up off the branch and flies over the yard and lands on the empty hive and marches right in. The swarm that landed looked like more bees than were in that hive yesterday when i checked it, there were a lot! And we never saw bees fly out of it the way they flew across the yard and landed on it. Now I am wondering if it was another swarm that was trying to land on the side of that hive when my husband moved it and placed the empty hive in its place. Or did they swarm and come right back? Was it my tanging or my husbands quick hive switch that captured them? Whether it came from our bees or not I'm happy to have the swarm!
Tanging can do that, it supposedly mimics the sound of thunder which causes the bees to seek the best close shelter, you bee hive in this case.
I've always had good luck with tanging and squirting a little water at the same time (thunder/rain storm) will settle the bees to the nearest solid object pronto.
When a beekeeper looks into a hive he is not seeing the total population, he is seeing anywhere fro 3/4-1/2 of the bees in a hive as the remainder are out foraging. Some may be gone for 2-4 days depending on time of day, distance from hive, and weather (singularly or combined).
It is possible that the swarm was from that hive but it's more probable that the swarm was on the verge of assimulating the existing hive (take it over).
1. Prior to a hive swarming the worker bees will force the queen to quit laying eggs and put her on a diet so she slims down for travel.
2. A Hive can swarm between the time the 1st queen cell is capped and the 1st queen cell hatches (a period of between 8-10 days).
3. A hive sans any sign of brood is either: swarmed and the new queen hasn't started laying yet, Lost a new queen during mating, Entered a brood dearth due to weather or flow conditions (Russians are prone to this), or queenless. A frame of brood with eggs will often answer the question by the reaction of the hive to the brood.
4. It can be 3 weeks from the time a queen hatches to the time she actually starts to lay eggs...this same thing can occur in packages which are artifical swarms.
5. Large swarms will sometime take over an established weaker hive in leiu of finding an unoccupied site.