Bee swarming behaviour?

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Heather 

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I know that bees swarm because-
1) too crowded
2) genetically programmed to- procreation

But can those with so much more knowledge than I explain as I have learnt this year of the other types of swarm.I must have skimmed this bit in the books

a) Starvation swarm - ? for totally new forage area??- why leave a dry comb drawn home for –somewhere?
b) Varroa swarm – why do some colonies dwindle and others apparently swarm to escape? Do they ALL go.

I have reread the books and 'googled' - but no satisfactory answer- just statements

Thats why I love bee keeping- always learning :hurray:
 

oliver90owner 

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Heather,

Are we talking 'swarming' or 'absconding' here? Subtle difference.

Swarming increases colony numbers, absconding doesn't.

Regards, RAB
 

Heather 

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Erm....

All I know is I collected a swarm Tuesday- one beekeeper said - could be a varroa swarm?? another Starvation swarm?.. I wondered if overfed colony swarm?..

Which made me pick up the books again as I dont know the answer. I dont know where colony came from- I put into a Nuc box- but have moved them on to a brood as they were spilling over and too crowded. Didn't want them legging it .
 

victor meldrew 

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Overfed colonies will indeed swarm.
A stores clogged brood box when Winter bees are still being produced (or required) will swarm if they can (weather permitting ;)

John Wilkinson
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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Don't overlook the possibility of the 'bloodyminded swarm'. This is when a colony recognises that the hive owner is an inexperienced and anxious type, and decides to test him to distraction by doing a moonlight (or rather daylight) flit.

I have personal experience of this sort of swarm!
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Kathryn,
Bees need enough stores for the winter of course. However they need to be able to rear brood too and if too much feed is given then the syrup can be put inthe brood area where the queen should be trying to lay. Look at your frames and assess the number of frames with capped stores, open stores and brood. The brood area will naturally shrink at this time of year to a smaller ball that you had, say 2 months ago, but within that ball there should not be loads of liquid honey that's been stuffed there as there is no room elsewhere in the hive.

On a good day at the moment, my bees are bringing in plenty of ivy honey and pollen so they don't need to be full to the brim with stores just yet. Don't know how the weather is in Wales and what forage you have there....

If you're worried, get back to the forum once you have had a look see.
 

Heather 

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I don't wish to steal the thread, but overfed bees swarm? How do I know if I am overfeeding mine?
As I have said in other threads- feeding is a balancing act. All hives vary- get to know your colony and their needs...Some people feed till bees cannot take down more- a mistake I feel.

But varroa swarm and starvation swarm??? - see original post- can anyone expand on those theories- and how is it judged when collecting. I have treated this swarm so i suppose if they drop thousands of varroa -that is a good pointer- but why swarm in the first place- are they really that switched on to leave loaded brood- I thought bees never deserted brood... help
 

Chris Luck 

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But varroa swarm and starvation swarm???
Yes, I'd like to know the answer to that as well, never come across either or heard of such things here.

"Overfeeding swarm" seems pretty damn obvious to me, unnatural but obvious. It's suicidal for bees to swarm at this time of year.

Chris
 

PaleoPerson 

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Don't overlook the possibility of the 'bloodyminded swarm'. This is when a colony recognises that the hive owner is an inexperienced and anxious type, and decides to test him to distraction by doing a moonlight (or rather daylight) flit.

I have personal experience of this sort of swarm!
Yup, I have one of those, delightfull little buggers. No logical reason that I can observe to cause them to swarm, but they do.
 

Silly Bee 

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They will still swarm won't they?

They stop feeding the old queen and she takes off with a few of her daughters.
 

Chris Luck 

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All I can say is that some of you have the most peculiar bees, perhaps you should stop poking them about so much.:smilielol5:

Chris
 

Poly Hive 

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I can only say I am scratching my head at some of the ideas on this thread.

Some background reading over the winter is indicated.

PH
 

louiseww 

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:willy_nilly::willy_nilly::willy_nilly:
Don't overlook the possibility of the 'bloodyminded swarm'. This is when a colony recognises that the hive owner is an inexperienced and anxious type, and decides to test him to distraction by doing a moonlight (or rather daylight) flit.

I have personal experience of this sort of swarm!
I like the idea that the bees are far more intelligent than the keepers!
 

Silly Bee 

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Supercedure they dump the old queen and keep the new. No swarm
As in kill her?

Genuine question, I was always lead to believe she left of her on accord after being made to feel unwelcome.
 

BlueMonsoon 

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I'm having a simular problem with one of my hives. Just finished the second veroa treatment and started feeding them two weeks ago, I added a super under the brood box the same time that I started feeding and hive was inspected.
Yesterday the hive swarmed, but I managed to get them into a nuc, however that was to small but would hold them for a while!
I went into the hive that they just left and found 17 queen cells in the brood box. Now this is what I thought at the time, that it would be to late for a virgin queen to mate at this time of the year and that I should rejoin the swarm to the hive it just left. Having taken out the queen cells and adding a brood box on top of the original one and put the swarm back in...
Today they started to swarm again, so I shut them in with the entrance block for a couple of hours, all seems ok, but will be out there with them tomorrow to see what they do.
In the two weeks after I added the super, they had filled the super and all the empty cells in the brood box with pollen and sugar syrup, so is this also a case of over feeding?
 

oliver90owner 

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It is still not that late in September. Yes, a queen will likely still get mated given good weather conditions. Might be more reliable than some periods earlier in the season, but she may not and this is definitely not the time of year for that! She may not fully mate and be superceded early next year, but get the colony through the winter.

The late swarm is very likely doomed in nature, as there is even less time to set up and provision a new home with stores and winter bees.

I just posted on another thread of the possible feeding problems after apiguard. This may be just what I was warning about?

If they are that strong, or that determined, split off a nuc with the queen and reunite before winter. Otherwise things may well end in a very unsatisfactory manner for both the bees and the beekeeper.

Regards, RAB
 

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