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Author Topic: Do swarms relocate before selecting a hive location???  (Read 631 times)
Moots
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« on: April 08, 2013, 02:24:07 PM »

Question....
When bees swarm and select a place to land...Do they typically remain at that same spot until they select a spot for a new home?  Or, might they relocate temporarily?

I had a swarm yesterday about 40 feet up in a tree.  I was getting pretty good activity at a swarm trap about 75 feet away, so I was hopeful.  Went check on them at lunch, still having good activity at the trap, but while I was there the cluster took off.  Somehow I managed to lose site of them, so I'm not sure where they went.  However, it wasn't to my trap.  Sad

Scouts were still hanging out at the trap after this....Does that mean there is still hope, Or am I and the scout bees on my trap both out of luck and the swarm has check out!
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tefer2
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 03:22:57 PM »

Most of the swarms coming out our apiaries land within a 100 feet of the hive they issued from.
They then send out scouts to pick the new home. No telling how long they will stay put.
I've had them leave on me while grabbing a hive body from the barn.
When they leave from the first landing spot they are headed to their new home.
Sorry to say it won't be your swarm trap this time.
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Moots
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 03:37:36 PM »

Most of the swarms coming out our apiaries land within a 100 feet of the hive they issued from.
They then send out scouts to pick the new home. No telling how long they will stay put.
I've had them leave on me while grabbing a hive body from the barn.
When they leave from the first landing spot they are headed to their new home.
Sorry to say it won't be your swarm trap this time.

tefer2,
Thanks for the response....I was pretty much afraid that was the case!  Sad

Well, you know what they say....When you go fishing, you can't catch all the fish!  I'll get them next time!  grin
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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D Semple
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 03:45:29 PM »

I occasionally see staging swarms relocate, but it doesn't happen very often and I think they are just responding to weather or the wind.


Don
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bailey
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 05:31:22 PM »

Don't give up quite yet.  I have had some move around for 3 days then hit my traps.  Not often but sometimes.
Bailey
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gjd
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 10:31:48 AM »

For a readable description of the various scientific studies of swarming, read Honeybee Democracy, by Thomas Seeley.
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L Daxon
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 10:42:30 AM »

Don't buy the book.  Check it out at your local library.
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linda d
JP
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 06:27:15 AM »

Very common for swarms to relocate, reason could be just about anything, weight of the swarm will cause them to fall and relocate, wind and human interference, such as kids throwing things at them and water hoses. I've even seen domestic ones try to go back inside the hive body they left due to impending weather.


...JP
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Jim 134
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 07:54:10 AM »

The 2 things I know after keeping bees for over 50 years bees do what bees want to do and bees do not read books. rolleyes



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tefer2
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 09:27:24 AM »

Most swarms regroup close to the hive they came from. The main reason is they are hunting for their queen. She is normally one of the last to leave the hive in a swarm.

She is forced out by the bees biting her legs and pushing her out the entrance. When she doesn't show up, they go back to look for her. If they don't find her they will just wait till a virgin hatches out and leave with her. When they are in swarm mode they don't wait for the virgin to get mated.

Beekeepers sometimes clip their queens to keep them from leaving with a swarm.
The queen and her bees don't know she can't fly and push her out of the entrance anyway. This is why you always find them crawling around in the grass or under the bottom board.

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capt44
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2013, 10:48:15 PM »

Remember that queen bee isn't use to flying and will fly a short distance and stop.
I've seen them move small distances before finally finding a home.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 02:43:15 AM »

-
I was amazed how swarm relocated and the queen too

.
I tried to catch a swarm from pine canopy 2 years ago. It took 2 days to take it off.
The swarm moved several times and located itself.

Then there was finally a soft ball size cluster in tree branch and the queen.
I got a queen and I put it into a mating nuc, which was queenless.

The queen did not like it and it jumped at once on its wing and returned to its small swarm-

The queen identified visually the place where its swarm was and landed to its own gang.
Comeback happened at once. It had not much time to seach the cluster.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 03:47:21 PM »

I have seen them come out of the hive and I started gathering equipment which was right in the yard.  They gathered on the branch and in less than two minutes they were off and flying.  They obviously knew where they were going.  I've has seen them gather and hang around for days and never leave.  Obviously they couldn't make up their mind.  Typically I see them cluster about 10 am and leave for the hills about 2 pm.
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