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Author Topic: Found Swarm – now it moved underneath one hive's SBB - What do I do?  (Read 593 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 34

Location: central Missouri

« on: August 05, 2012, 09:04:13 PM »

I really hope you all can help me with this as I am rather puzzled and not sure what to do next!

This morning, we saw a swarm of bees settle in the very top of a huge oak tree on our place, and we assumed it was from one of our hives.

They stayed there all day, until this evening around 7:30 when the bee yard and surrounding areas were full of thousands of flying bees. When checking, we found that the swarm had left the tree.

There were a couple places (such as one of our fruit trees), where larger numbers of bees seemed to be gathering (though they were flying, not landing.) Then in the space of about ten minutes from when this all began, all of the bees began to congregate around one of our hives. It looked like some were going into the entrance, but most settled on the back of the hive and underneath of the screened bottom board.

What happened? Why are they doing this? Did the queen return the hive, and they are following her?

And my biggest question, what do I do now?

Thanks so much in advance!
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 11:01:00 PM by SarahM » Logged
Field Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 631

Location: central, Virginia

« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 06:38:46 AM »

It sounds like a false start.  It is not uncommon.  Sometimes a swarm will make several tries before they succeed.  This gives you time to act though.  

If they're back in their hive now you can get in there and make a split before they take off again.  Make sure the old queen is removed from the original hive as part of the split.  Give the split at least five frames; brood, pollen, honey.  a large split will work good giving both halves a big enough population to brood up before winter.  Then get ready to feed them syrup to help them out. 

You're essentially making a Fall split.  Lots of beeks do this regularly.  You can look it up on this forum.
D Coates
Queen Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 1074

Location: Lee's Summit, MO

« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 09:09:13 AM »

Ditto Hemlock.  You've got an opportunity here.  If you've got the equipment you're in a great spot.    Worst case scenario you can hope to catch the swarm but I'd bet bottom dollar if/when they re-issue they'll head back to where you saw them yesterday.

Ninja, is not in the dictionary.  Well played Ninja's, well played...
New Bee
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Posts: 34

Location: central Missouri

« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 12:25:56 PM »

Thanks for the replies! They were very helpful . . . this morning the hive swarmed again, and again it returned to the hive. We then proceeded to do a split. Given what we saw and found in the hive when doing the split, we're a little at a loss as to how to proceed from here, and I have several more questions which I'll be posting soon in a new thread.

Once again, thank you!
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