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Author Topic: They swarmed (i think) then came back  (Read 1152 times)

Offline Algonam

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They swarmed (i think) then came back
« on: June 23, 2012, 09:20:21 PM »
beekeeper for 13 months. Langstroff hives. The hive in question was a 5 frame nuc 1 that I purchased 1 month ago. I installed it into a deep super right away, one month ago. Recently they have been looking quite strong and we have had some very unusually hot weather recently, similar to a July day in Tennessee! Frames 1 and 10 aren't yet drawn but there are alot of bees.
Yesterday I noticed they were bearding on the hive stand. This is when I checked the hive for strength. Lots of brood, honey and bees. No swarm cells.
I went home and made up another deep with empty frames to install today.
Today when we arrived we could see a huge swarm of bees in front of the hive, and the buzz was intense. We could hear it loudly from 50yrds. By the time we got our bee suits on, the swarm had moved away from the hive. My wife started to follow it and it ended up close to 30 ft up a cedar tree about 75 yards up the hill. We figured we lost the hive.
We went back to the hives to do the work we had set out to do. That particular hive still had bees in and around it and we added the 2nd deep as planned. I took 1 frame from the lower box and inserted it in the new upper box. I replaced the lower frame with a new plastic waxed frame. By the time we were done the swarm of bees had removed themselves from the cedar tree and were all coming back to the hive. It was very very intense at that point. I had't experienced that volume of bees around me in the air before! They bearded again on the hive stand. We left for 2 hrs at that point. When we returned the bearding was gone and there were many bees in the newly installed upper box of new frames.
Does anyone know what happened? I thought when they decided to swarm, that they swarmed and didn't come back! Any ideas what this was?

Oh Canada!

Offline annette

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Re: They swarmed (i think) then came back
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 01:02:19 AM »
They probably really needed that extra super and did swarm out. But they came back because the queen probably did not go with them. The same thing happened to me 2 years ago. They swarmed out in front of me and ended up 20 feet in a tree and after 45 minutes they all went back in. Here on the forum beeks said the queen did not go with them. I ended up splitting them after they came back.

Offline Joe D

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Re: They swarmed (i think) then came back
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 01:32:23 AM »
I had something simular happen in the spring.  I could be wrong but I think mine was a virgin queen making her flight, I caught them in a brood box and in a couple of hours they were back in the hive.  Couple weeks latter I had a swarm that did leave this hive, caught them also, now their a new hive.  Good luck with your bees.