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Author Topic: will a queenless hive swarm?  (Read 718 times)
rober
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« on: September 12, 2012, 05:36:02 PM »

here's the scenario. i did a removal yesterday. there was a small hive in a dead limb that fell in a storm. i opened the limb removed all salvageable comb & installed the comb into empty frames holding them in place with rubber bands. i did not find the queen ( does not  mean she was not there ). the bees were left in a cardboard nuc overnight. this morning i installed them in a hive with 4 frames of their original comb, 4 frames of drawn comb, & 1 frame of honey. i put lemon grass oil extract & some of my ho-made queen pheremone in the hive & installed an entrance reducer. i left a nuc with drawn frames & lemon grass oil at the original location hoping to attract stragglers & returning foragers. i stacked all of the original hive pieces & put the nuc on top of them. this hive was quite small & had no honey stored. i doubt it would have survived the winter.  so now to my question.......will they swarm without a queen? this afternoon i was going to prune a fruit tree that is within 25 feet of my apiary. on it was a mini swarm. by the time i walked back to the house, suited up & got my swarm bucket & tools & walked back they were gone. i checked the hive & most of the bees are gone. i guess that i''ll just combine any bees that are retrieved in my nuc with another existing hive.
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yelnifok
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 07:16:04 PM »

rober, the only time I have had a colony swarm out 'without a queen', they also returned to the hive entrance-regrouped (with the queen) and then took flight again. The reason I know this is because I saw the queen emerge from the hive entrance and fly off with the swarm. My figuring is that they got in too big a hurry the first time, and the queen got left behind. But another possibility could be your addition of oil extracts may have made the queen uncomfortable so she/they left. lee...
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rober
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 09:31:45 AM »

our beekeeping meeting was last night. the general consensus is that they absconded.
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T Beek
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 11:26:47 AM »

Adding queen pheromone may not have been the proper welcome mat 'if' the queen was still inside.  If she was in fact missing you might have had better results closing them up for at least 24 hours to be sure and to give some time to settle in.

I reread your post and didn't notice if there was any brood on the comb you placed.  Was there?

t
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 11:43:16 AM »

They probably moved into one of your other hives if there was no Q. I have had a couple of swarms do that when the Q didn't survive.
Jim
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rober
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 09:21:31 AM »

i do not have any brood to spare so no brood was placed in the hive i made the pheremone by putting dead queens in alcohol as recommended on this web-site. today i placed the pheremone jar outside ( jar open ). the bees showed no interest in it at all. 30' away i put a few drop of lemon grass oil on a block of wood. bees visited it all day..........
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