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Author Topic: Did they swarm?  (Read 751 times)
dogdrs
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« on: June 07, 2009, 09:24:58 PM »

I'm very new.  Got two nuc hives middle of April.  One hive was obviously stronger right from the start.  Within 3 weeks they had built up so much that they were starting to crowd the entrance and beard.  The state inspector came at about that time and recommended either doing a split or adding a honey super.  Added the honey super which seemed to relieve the crowding temporarily. Inspection on 5/23/09 showed no queen cells.  But then 5 days ago there was a sudden drop in the number of bees at the entrance and on the outside of the hive and very little coming and going.  Due to my real life, I was unable to open the hive until today.  There were still alot of bees in the hive, but not as many as the previous inspection.  There was very little activity in the honey super.  In the brood box there were no eggs and I did not see the queen.  The frames in the center of the brood box had queen cells both near the top of the frames and also at the bottom of the frames.  Plenty of capped brood and some open brood cells and lots of nectar.  Did they swarm?  I'm not sure because of the mixture of supersedure cells and queen cells at the bottoms of frames.  Plus, I thought that if they swarmed, there would be a lot fewer bees left behind. Since this happened about 5 days ago and there are closed queen cells, when should I expect to see a new queen laying eggs?  By the way, the second hive seems to be developing the same overcrowding, so today I put another brood box on and moved a couple brood frames up, hoping to avoid loosing that queen.  Maybe I'll do a split.  This all happened so FAST!  I'm really bummed that I lost my queen so soon Sad
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2009, 10:09:25 PM »

I'm very new.  Got two nuc hives middle of April.  One hive was obviously stronger right from the start.  Within 3 weeks they had built up so much that they were starting to crowd the entrance and beard.  The state inspector came at about that time and recommended either doing a split or adding a honey super.  Added the honey super which seemed to relieve the crowding temporarily. Inspection on 5/23/09 showed no queen cells.  But then 5 days ago there was a sudden drop in the number of bees at the entrance and on the outside of the hive and very little coming and going.  Due to my real life, I was unable to open the hive until today.  There were still alot of bees in the hive, but not as many as the previous inspection.  There was very little activity in the honey super.  In the brood box there were no eggs and I did not see the queen.  The frames in the center of the brood box had queen cells both near the top of the frames and also at the bottom of the frames.  Plenty of capped brood and some open brood cells and lots of nectar.  Did they swarm?  I'm not sure because of the mixture of supersedure cells and queen cells at the bottoms of frames.  Plus, I thought that if they swarmed, there would be a lot fewer bees left behind. Since this happened about 5 days ago and there are closed queen cells, when should I expect to see a new queen laying eggs?  By the way, the second hive seems to be developing the same overcrowding, so today I put another brood box on and moved a couple brood frames up, hoping to avoid loosing that queen.  Maybe I'll do a split.  This all happened so FAST!  I'm really bummed that I lost my queen so soon Sad

Classic post swarm hive condition.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
dogdrs
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2009, 10:19:18 PM »

How long before I should start seeing eggs from a new queen?  And if I'm going to do a split from the second hive that hasn't swarmed, how long should I give them?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2009, 10:25:16 PM »

How long before I should start seeing eggs from a new queen?  And if I'm going to do a split from the second hive that hasn't swarmed, how long should I give them?

If the queen hasn't hatched yet it could be over 3 weeks before you have a laying queen, then sometimes a newly mated queen doesn't start laying right away.  Give it 30 days before you panic.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2009, 06:03:53 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
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Michael Bush
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GJP
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 02:46:29 PM »

Dogdrs,

Same thing happened to me last year.  I bought two packages my first year and one swarmed in late June (central Wisconsin).  I over fed them and my strongest colony decided to swamr.  They eventually re-queened themselves but she wasn't much good.  I then introduced a new queen that they didn't like.  This year I bought two nucs and one took off real nice while the girls in the other one didn't like the introduced queen. They superceded her and the new queen is doing a great job.  All you can do is your best and even then they do what they want anyway.  I hope they get you a nice strong new queen!  I tried for a cuople of months to find the swarm but didn't have any luck.

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dogdrs
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2009, 10:41:37 AM »

Thanks for all the input.  I know it's the natural process and I feel good that I've added a strong colony of European bees to the local environment.  With the AHB situation here in Florida, it's nice to know that I've given them some competition.  Hopefully I'll get a good queen from this hive.  And, hopefully I'll be able to do a successful split from the second hive. 
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