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Author Topic: Swarm questions  (Read 282 times)
Dr. B in Wisconsin
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« on: July 08, 2013, 07:18:27 PM »

Hello everyone
This is my 4 year and I was down by my apple trees and heard the Buzz of bees and almost ran into a swarm hanging down from the branch. I have a couple of general questions about swarms. The swarm is about 50 feet from the house. My questions are once the group of bees move to the branch do they continue to slowly move out of the hive or is the bunch on the branch the only ones that have left not to return?? How long do they usually stay on the branch? How far would they typically move and any other interesting things about swarms would be interesting to read.
Thanks,
Brian
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sc-bee
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 08:50:26 PM »

 > is the bunch on the branch the only ones that have left not to return??
yes with that  swarm. May throw after swarms with other queens.


 How long do they usually stay on the branch?
two minutes- two hours - two days. Usually move to a place the scouts have found within the day. If they swarm late in he evening they usually stay put overnight. At least in my experience.

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John 3:16
JWChesnut
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 09:09:04 PM »

The swarm is unitary--- no recruits after the initial departure. 
The length of the bivouac is erratic.  Watch for dancing on the surface -- as this ramps up, the swarm will soon depart.

I think the best time to hive a swarm is in the late afternoon, less likely to abscond.  Avoid smoke (which will drive the swarm back out of its new hive) and scents, as you want the swarm pheromones to permeate. 

Best way to hive a swarm is to just cut the branch off, you can even leave a bit of it in the hive (or cardboard box if no hive is available).  The scent on the branch will draw stragglers.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 09:59:48 AM »

>My questions are once the group of bees move to the branch do they continue to slowly move out of the hive or is the bunch on the branch the only ones that have left not to return??

They leave the hive in a whirlwind of bees.  Those congregate on the limb.  The bees you see coming and going from the swarm are scouts looking for a new home.

> How long do they usually stay on the branch?

Somewhere between 10 seconds and forever... but typically they swarm out of the hive at about 10 am and leave for a new home about 2 pm.

>How far would they typically move

Typically, between a quarter mile and a mile.  Sometimes as far as 7 miles and sometimes as close as right there...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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