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Author Topic: Watched Hive Swarm... What Should Happen Next?  (Read 486 times)
gwalker314
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Location: Mc Calla, Alabama


« on: May 09, 2009, 09:29:54 PM »

Hi All,
I went out to install a SHB trap on Tues. May 5, 2009. As I approached the hive I saw a swarm in progress and watched them land 50' in a tree above the hive. As I did not have access to capture them I placed a 5 frame nuc close by in a tree with 1 drawn comb and some lemongrass oil. They decided to leave the next morning and chose not to use the nuc.
I checked the hive they left which had 1 deep & 1 med for brood which they had completely drawn with pollen, nectar, and honey. I added another medium super a week before they swarmed which they were crawling all over but had not drawn any comb so there was plenty of room for the queen prior to her exit. As I pulled several frames in the deep brood I saw 2 frames that had queen cells hanging from the bottom. I spoke with a local beekeeper who suggested I take 1 of the frames with a set of queen cells and put them in the nuc, which I did and replaced the missing frame with an empty one.
I checked the hive again on Thurs. May 7, 2009 and found a queen walking around on a frame in the medium brood box. I could not see any eggs or larvae, but there was still a good bit of capped brood. I am thinking all is good, But today I made another check for eggs and could not find any eggs and allot less capped brood than on Thurs. inspection.
Hopefully the queen was out today on a mating flight. Its possible she could have swarmed as there seemed to be less bees in the hive, but the weather was very nice today and they may have sent most of the foragers out?
I am not sure what to be looking for now. When & how often should I check to see if I have a queen? The bees were very calm today and I didn't hear a loud buzzing like the nuc is doing, which I know doesn't have a queen yet. Not sure how the swarm is going to effect getting any honey this year.
Thanks for all or any advice,

GW
Alabama
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JP
The Swarm King
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2009, 09:44:30 PM »

You may have to downsize the deep/medium set up until you have enough numbers to utilize the extra space created my the swarm/swarms.

The virgin left behind will need to mate, give her some time. The main swarm that left this hive most likely had the mated, laying queen.

Keep an eye on them, if they are able to build adequately and you have good resources they may make some honey for you this season.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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gwalker314
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Location: Mc Calla, Alabama


« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2009, 09:53:51 PM »

Thanks for the response JP. What would be the best way to down size since there is some capped brood in both brood boxes and several frames in the medium brood box is all capped honey?  I am very new to beekeeping so please bear with me on all the questions. I appreaciate all the help all you experienced beeks offer on this forum.

GW
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JP
The Swarm King
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Gender: Male
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2009, 10:04:14 PM »

My main concern would be numbers of bees in the set up. Down here a lack of numbers after a swarm could lead to a shb explosion, and also a wax moth invitation.

If you have adequate numbers to guard both boxes against shb/wax moth then leave them on, if not you could pull some frames and make another nuc or give to another hive.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
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