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Author Topic: Multiple Queened Swarms, how common  (Read 1555 times)
Apis_M_Rescue
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« on: March 29, 2011, 04:56:31 AM »

I caught a swarm this Monday 25ft up in oak tree & on my 2nd attempt when dumping scoop in nuc seen what looked like virgin queen & caged her. Placed her in hive & dumped 3 more scoops but that queen wasn't attracting em & the drones and workers just rejoined the football sized swarm.

Let colony form up & cut up some more hive wooden ware & then made my last attempt & scooped up majority of swarm & dumped in nuc. The whole swarm scattered from oak in cloud & now gravitated to nuc & me. Seen bunch gather by lid of nuc & there she was, the more vigorous queen which ran in nuc. Hived em & took to outyard to deal w/ later in week.

How common are multiple queened swarms & what determines the loyalties of one over the other?
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Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24
montauk170
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 02:22:35 PM »

Good question and I'd like to know too.

Like this past weekend I caught three queens right outside the colony I was about to remove.
All the bees were in the air then three clusters started to form on the roof top. The swarm division wasn't equal.
One box had more bees going to one queen than the other.
All the queen appear to be small, possible virgins.
(If it was the original queen I'd expect more bees to follow her)

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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 06:11:00 PM »

Hey Montauk, which book were you reading up there?    And when do you plan to take that old oak tree hives out?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 04:02:23 AM »

I would say multiple queens are the norm in afterswarms...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
montauk170
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 02:36:28 PM »

Sunday is the hive removal on the large oak tree. The owner will find out if I can cut the entrance open a tad more without the top heavy tree falling and destroying homes!
Will take pics for sure.
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Apis_M_Rescue
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 02:38:13 PM »

So in prime swarms multiple queens more rare? After swarms could be occurring now in southern Calif. as spring is early here & we had unusual amounts of rains despite NOAA predicting a drier La Nina pattern. They said Alaska northrn express spoiled our la nina& was colder here. Warming up this week to 90's & swarms breaking out all over southrn Calif.

Everything exploding here oaks breaking out w/ pollen tassles & onamentals in urban areas, fruit trees-lemon, citrus, avocado's, stone fruits, berrys-blue, black, herbs- borage,thyme, veges -brocolli, fava. Not sure what in foothills as need to take my day hike in canyons. Just got call before now noon that one of my Jenny Craig top bar swarm lure hives has swarm moving in now! Gotta run & check out.

Cheers, David
If you build it the bees will come Smiley
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Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24
montauk170
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 04:28:28 PM »

David, you're going to be busy for a month or two.  grin

I just got back from a swarm call. Cut branch and dropped into box and came home. Less than 20 min. including the short drive.

Allen, books, it was used to keep the wind from blowing the box down 2 stories. One did, thus the books.  grin
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Apis_M_Rescue
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2011, 05:40:45 PM »

Good going Montauk. Easier than cut out by all means. How big was swarm did you see queen?

Went during late lunch & neighbor across town showed my my Jenny Craig cooler swarm lure box w/ bees nasonoving by hole w/ 9 inch beard hanging below entrance. He told me cloud of bees round late 10am swarmed on box. I had to go but will come in evening & remove to an outyard I've been working this year. Leaving nother swarm lure trap to get the next swarm Wink.
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Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24
montauk170
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2011, 01:29:33 PM »

All right, good going on them swarm traps.
I know so many colonies in trees, I should really set out traps myself.

Swarms were tiny from that 4 queen day. Flow is so strong right now I'll let them build. Later when the drier times come I will merge if necessary.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2011, 11:37:36 PM »

>So in prime swarms multiple queens more rare?

That would be my observation, but sometimes I think two swarms (primary or otherwise) get combined in the confusion.  I think in afterswarms they tend to be (but aren't necessarily) from the same hive.

In other words, the old queen leaves with a swarm before the virgins have emerged, but the next swarm may have several emerging as they are leaving and leave with several.  But once they leave it is a bit of chaos driven by pheromones and swarming bees may get confused and go to the wrong cluster.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Apis_M_Rescue
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2011, 05:42:21 AM »

>So in prime swarms multiple queens more rare?

That would be my observation, but sometimes I think two swarms (primary or otherwise) get combined in the confusion.  I think in afterswarms they tend to be (but aren't necessarily) from the same hive.

In other words, the old queen leaves with a swarm before the virgins have emerged, but the next swarm may have several emerging as they are leaving and leave with several.  But once they leave it is a bit of chaos driven by pheromones and swarming bees may get confused and go to the wrong cluster.

I had chaos last year when a 2 ft swarm was on same oak & every so many minutes a swarm broke off of that swarm & departed leaving it reduced in size. At the same time multiple clumps off that swarm were falling to ground. Upon examination in each excitedly buzzing clump, poking my finger then using spray water bottle, discovered a queen being tussled with. I collected 5 or six queens over 2 day period w/ other swarms. So its not a question of loyalty but more happenstance, in which queen is followed or one w/ stronger pheromones. There I was anthropomorphizing again.
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Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24
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