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Author Topic: Hive swarmed, now what?  (Read 589 times)

Offline slaphead

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Hive swarmed, now what?
« on: June 13, 2009, 11:46:20 PM »
One of my best 1st year hives has swarmed.  Its obvious half the bees have left and those that remain seem to be completely demoralized.  Lethargic would be the most accurate description for their activity inside the hive.  Removed frames from the top box until I found swarm cells, 2 on frame 5 and both capped.  At that point I stopped and carefully put the hive back together again. I didn't find any young brood but some older uncapped and capped.  The Blackberry flow has just started here so the bees should have plenty of nectar but I'm at a loss as to what is the best thing to do at this point.  The weather forecast through June 20th is good but after that they're predicting rain.  I'm concerned that's not a large enough window for the virgin queen to have sufficient mating flights.  Would really appreciate some advice on the best way to proceed from this point.

Thanks,

SH
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Hive swarmed, now what?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 02:27:57 AM »
One of my best 1st year hives has swarmed.  Its obvious half the bees have left and those that remain seem to be completely demoralized.  Lethargic would be the most accurate description for their activity inside the hive.  Removed frames from the top box until I found swarm cells, 2 on frame 5 and both capped.  At that point I stopped and carefully put the hive back together again. I didn't find any young brood but some older uncapped and capped.  The Blackberry flow has just started here so the bees should have plenty of nectar but I'm at a loss as to what is the best thing to do at this point.  The weather forecast through June 20th is good but after that they're predicting rain.  I'm concerned that's not a large enough window for the virgin queen to have sufficient mating flights.  Would really appreciate some advice on the best way to proceed from this point.

Thanks,

SH

Welcome to the wonderful world of bees.  Found out that even 1st year  hives will swarm.  Your hive is showing classic post swarm signs, lack of anything but capped brood, capped queen cells, and demoralized or lethargic bees.  The demoralization will end once the queen cells hatch.  It will now take the blackberry flow (one of our best) to build the hive back.  You might still get a harvestable crop if the hives is already in 2 deeps, or the equivalent, and the weather holds for a good late-summer early-fall flow.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline garys520

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Re: Hive swarmed, now what?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2009, 01:26:21 PM »
My hive swarmed on May 30th and as of yesterday morning there were no eggs, just honey and pollen and empty cells.  I did see empty queen cells but no sign of the queen.  I took four frames of capped brood and young eggs from another hive that's really strong. Hopefully, the girls try again and get a new queen.  With the rotten weather we've had in SE Connecticut it's impossible for a virgin queen to make it out without getting caught in a storm.