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Author Topic: Swarming?????  (Read 1476 times)

Offline Fordney Farms

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« on: June 26, 2005, 11:29:07 AM »
Hi everyone, I am new to the forum and my husband and I are new to beekeeping...

We got our bees around a month ago and they were already established hives ( 2) that we purchased from an older gentleman who is downsizing.  

Things have been fine with them, my husband thinks one of the hives is overcrowded...last evening (it was extremely hot - if that has anything to do with it) a couple hours before sunset...this particular hive had tons of bees loitering near the bottom (by the opening), It was solid bees in a circle about the size of a dinner plate, they were stacked on top of each other and the hive was very active...are they getting ready to swarm?

Thanks in advance...still learning...
Home of:
Perseus and Merlin, the miniature horses
Rambo and Rocky, the miniature goats
Brutus and Radar, the dogs
Boots, the cat
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and a whole lot of Bees!

Offline Robo

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Re: Swarming?????
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2005, 11:44:25 AM »
Quote from: Fordney Farms
are they getting ready to swarm?..

Could be, but "bearding" is not a definate sign.   There is also the possibilty that it is too hot inside for all of them.  

Inspection for swarm cells is the best way to tell if they are preparing to swarm.  They will slim down the queen so that she can fly and she will stop laying eggs.   The absence of eggs and presence of queen cells means they are getting close to swarm.

If it is just a heat issue, give them more space and ventilation.  A slatted rack or screened bottom board for the bottom and either a ventilation box or upper entrance on top.
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Offline bassman1977

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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2005, 01:42:39 PM »
I agree with Robo...sounds like bearding to me.  If you already have the slatted rack or SBB that Robo is suggesting, put some sticks, pencils, shims or whatever and open up the cover a little more.  Also, since you have them in established hives, they will fill those boxes up quicker with everything and anything.  Make sure you don't over crowd them.