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Author Topic: Strange 'Not Flying' behavior???  (Read 571 times)
Hemlock
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« on: June 12, 2013, 06:24:22 PM »

In a newly captured swarm the bees are not flying, anywhere, or at all.  They remain almost cluster-like in the nuc.  IF, they come out of the nuc at all they form a tight beard and barely move.  No fanning.  No line dancing.  Temps in the eighties & nineties.

The question is, What is happening and why?

Details:
*Swarm found in a swarm trap last Saturday 6/8/13. Trap is five medium old brood frames in one box.  Solid bottom board.
*Bees likely entered trap several days earlier. Saw a larva yesterday in around the 4th instar.
*Bees/Trap relocated to apiary on Saturday night.  Bees/swarm too large to fit in five frame nuc.  Second Nuc box with five old brood frames added Sunday along with gallon of 1:1 syrup in top feeder.
*I believe the behavior in question was already occurring at the trap site.  Did not recognize it as an issue at the time.
*All brood frames come from previous winter's dead-outs 2012/13. Some pollen and some honey but mostly empty.
*Good enough population to block view of comb/frame by the amount of bees on it.  None of which seem to be doing Anything.
*Queen located & marked yesterday.  Queen has laid approximately one frame worth of eggs.
*Bee poop is seemingly being removed from hive.
*Small amount of syrup is being stored on frames.  No bees taking syrup when i look in the nuc yesterday.
*Amount of flying bees noticeable in a day can be counted on two hands at most.
*Main flow ended about two weeks ago.
*Lac of robing suggest there is no dearth currently.
*Again temps are typical for this time of year through rainfall is up with weekly rain days.
*Trap site twenty miles away from apiary.

This low level of activity is deeply inconsistent with the other hives in the apiary.  The other hives are showing heavy activity (expected normal for this time of year); flying at sun up and continuing till past 8pm.  These hives: One over wintered, two spring packages, & three spring splits, have been built up on the same dead-out frames. Though none of them but the Over wintered hive have a population as dense as this captured swarm.  

Further questions:
Could too many bees sitting on too few eggs cause the lac of activity?
Could a poor/old/failing queen cause this lac of activity?

Thank you in advance.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 06:53:27 PM by Hemlock » Logged
don2
Doak
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 06:47:34 PM »

I would put a 10 frame box in the location of the nuc, transfer the frames and keep feeding. Stay out of it for a week to 10 days. I have had swarms do this and would finally swarm out. If their house don't suit them they will do nothing till they are satisfied, if no satisfaction comes, they leave. Unless they are sick. Then that is another chapter.  Smiley d2
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10framer
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 11:37:27 PM »

none of my bees are flying in the evening right now.  i haven't even seen many going to get water.  they are bearding a lot.  the major flows are over here unless sumac does well.  boxweed is blooming and my buckwheat is coming in but i'm not expecting a lot from those.
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don2
Doak
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 07:38:05 PM »

Mimosa is in full bloom around here, Magnolia also.  Smiley d2
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 08:33:27 PM »

If your temps are in the 90's which ours are its hot, the sun is drying everything out including any blooms so not much for them to work right now unfortunately. Foraging is way down & the bees are bearding heavily.


...JP
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Hemlock
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2013, 07:16:23 PM »

I added two boxes the other day and they did take to flying...Mostly.  Plus they continue to fly every day now.  A Big difference in behavior so thank you.  I had never seen bees remain in swarm cluster after being introduced into a box.  I have learned something.

Yes it is warm here but the rains have been frequent enough to keep the nectar pumps pumping.  Spare frames left out for clean up and pots with residual syrup get almost no attention.  Yet supers are being filled and capped.

Again, thanks to you all.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 11:33:35 AM »

A new swarm often spends a couple of days getting organized and making decisions.  They don't seem to be doing anything.  I've watched them in an observation hive in a cluster down in one corner for a day.  Then in another corner for a day.  Then they suddenly move to the center and get to work...
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Michael Bush
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