Caught swarm, re-swarming.

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OutStanden

New Bee
Joined
Jun 24, 2024
Messages
9
Reaction score
9
Location
Scotland
Number of Hives
1
Hello.

In the Scottish Borders. Weather has been very poor. Rain, Cloud etc. Feeding my one colony for awhile now.

Yesterday was the 1st good day for a few months 25c. I was sitting in my garden with my cat, watching my Foragers go in and out and tracking the direction of their flight so I could get an idea of the areas they may likely be going off to.

5 Minutes or so later I heard a huge buzzing, Looked up and witnessed a huge Swarm moving in over my garden. My initial thought was "Oh no my hive is off" however this was too many bees for my Hive to have produced and I had inspected it just the day before. 0 Queen cells and more than enough stores so they clearly had not cleaned out the Hive in prep to swarm. So this was a wild swarm! 1st I had ever seen. Got my Nuc box, waited for them to land and got them all into a box, or what I could... The swarm was too big for the Nuc box.

Hived them as soon as I could because the Nuc box just did not have enough space. The remaining Bees happily walked into the Hive so I was fairly satisfied the Queen must be in there. Skip to today. Another Nice day, about 12 - 1PM they Re-Swarmed. I wasn't in at the time to witness the Exodus but I came home in time to see Bees all in the air again. Walking over to the Box I could see there was barely any Bees left. The Box however was pretty well drawn out for less than 1 days work. Honey stores, very small bit of Pollen.

So my question is. Why did they decide to re-swarm? If they had used up some of their consumed Nectar from the old Hive to Draw and Store in their new home, what could have triggered another swarm?

Also a follow up question. I've had my Nuc in my Garden for roughly 3 months after taking BeeKeeping back up. Is it just coincidence that a Swarm of Bees just decided to choose my Garden, taking into consideration I've lived here 5 years with no sign of Bees. Or did they perhaps smell the pheromones of Foraging Bees and follow them to me?

Sorry for the life story. Hope all is going well with your Hives.
 
Hello.

In the Scottish Borders. Weather has been very poor. Rain, Cloud etc. Feeding my one colony for awhile now.

Yesterday was the 1st good day for a few months 25c. I was sitting in my garden with my cat, watching my Foragers go in and out and tracking the direction of their flight so I could get an idea of the areas they may likely be going off to.

5 Minutes or so later I heard a huge buzzing, Looked up and witnessed a huge Swarm moving in over my garden. My initial thought was "Oh no my hive is off" however this was too many bees for my Hive to have produced and I had inspected it just the day before. 0 Queen cells and more than enough stores so they clearly had not cleaned out the Hive in prep to swarm. So this was a wild swarm! 1st I had ever seen. Got my Nuc box, waited for them to land and got them all into a box, or what I could... The swarm was too big for the Nuc box.

Hived them as soon as I could because the Nuc box just did not have enough space. The remaining Bees happily walked into the Hive so I was fairly satisfied the Queen must be in there. Skip to today. Another Nice day, about 12 - 1PM they Re-Swarmed. I wasn't in at the time to witness the Exodus but I came home in time to see Bees all in the air again. Walking over to the Box I could see there was barely any Bees left. The Box however was pretty well drawn out for less than 1 days work. Honey stores, very small bit of Pollen.

So my question is. Why did they decide to re-swarm? If they had used up some of their consumed Nectar from the old Hive to Draw and Store in their new home, what could have triggered another swarm?

Also a follow up question. I've had my Nuc in my Garden for roughly 3 months after taking BeeKeeping back up. Is it just coincidence that a Swarm of Bees just decided to choose my Garden, taking into consideration I've lived here 5 years with no sign of Bees. Or did they perhaps smell the pheromones of Foraging Bees and follow them to me?

Sorry for the life story. Hope all is going well with your Hives.
Swarms abscond if things aren’t to their liking, for reasons no one really understands.
My SBI told me “bees attract bees” when we were discussing why swarms arrive in the apiary.
Good luck!
 
For next time, take a frame with brood without bees, this will keep the nurses from the swarm and minimize the chances of escape, this usually happens when the queens are virgins.
And since we're talking about swarms. Of the times you have checked just after settling it in a nuc, how many queens did you see?
 
For next time, take a frame with brood without bees, this will keep the nurses from the swarm and minimize the chances of escape, this usually happens when the queens are virgins.
And since we're talking about swarms. Of the times you have checked just after settling it in a nuc, how many queens did you see?
Hello.

I did what you suggested after re-homing the swarm a second time. They have a frame of brood to look after from my other Hive.

Unfortunately, during the capture I did not see any queens. However, on Re-Hiving, I heard the Queen piping, At first I thought it was the sound of a cat, but she was definitely making some noise. I know this could be that another queen is present and she is making a sort of war call to the other queen. Or it could be a signal to the swarm that she is the Queen and this is their home. Tough to tell, but it wasn't the usual kind of call out to another Queen.
 
Swarms abscond if things aren’t to their liking, for reasons no one really understands.
My SBI told me “bees attract bees” when we were discussing why swarms arrive in the apiary.
Good luck!
I've wondered about this apiaries attract swarms thing.
Seeley showed that swarms are guided by rapidly flying scout bees high in the swarm which repeatedly fly through the slower swarm in the intended direction of travel.
This makes me wonder if bees returning to an apiary confuse the swarm leading to them heading to the apiary?
 
Bees will always confound us, yesterday I went to collect a swarm that had been on shed for two days, whilst I was driving to it I received a message to say that they had just left and headed literally into the hills 😦 so we won't see them again. Yesterday was a warm and pleasant day here, unlike the cold windy place it is today.
 
My case, when they leave one of my hives they land on a nearby branch. I have 24 hours to pick it up in a nucleus but with British punctuality, 24 hours after leaving they take flight to the final place, I have bait hives about 200 m away and some end up there.
 
Hello.

In the Scottish Borders. Weather has been very poor. Rain, Cloud etc. Feeding my one colony for awhile now.

Yesterday was the 1st good day for a few months 25c. I was sitting in my garden with my cat, watching my Foragers go in and out and tracking the direction of their flight so I could get an idea of the areas they may likely be going off to.

5 Minutes or so later I heard a huge buzzing, Looked up and witnessed a huge Swarm moving in over my garden. My initial thought was "Oh no my hive is off" however this was too many bees for my Hive to have produced and I had inspected it just the day before. 0 Queen cells and more than enough stores so they clearly had not cleaned out the Hive in prep to swarm. So this was a wild swarm! 1st I had ever seen. Got my Nuc box, waited for them to land and got them all into a box, or what I could... The swarm was too big for the Nuc box.

Hived them as soon as I could because the Nuc box just did not have enough space. The remaining Bees happily walked into the Hive so I was fairly satisfied the Queen must be in there. Skip to today. Another Nice day, about 12 - 1PM they Re-Swarmed. I wasn't in at the time to witness the Exodus but I came home in time to see Bees all in the air again. Walking over to the Box I could see there was barely any Bees left. The Box however was pretty well drawn out for less than 1 days work. Honey stores, very small bit of Pollen.

So my question is. Why did they decide to re-swarm? If they had used up some of their consumed Nectar from the old Hive to Draw and Store in their new home, what could have triggered another swarm?

Also a follow up question. I've had my Nuc in my Garden for roughly 3 months after taking BeeKeeping back up. Is it just coincidence that a Swarm of Bees just decided to choose my Garden, taking into consideration I've lived here 5 years with no sign of Bees. Or did they perhaps smell the pheromones of Foraging Bees and follow them to me?

Sorry for the life story. Hope all is going well with your Hives.
A huge story!
 
I heard the Queen piping, At first I thought it was the sound of a cat, but she was definitely making some noise. I know this could be that another queen is present and she is making a sort of war call to the other queen.
not necessarily a queen - during swarming, some workers pipe too.
 
I've wondered about this apiaries attract swarms thing.
Seeley showed that swarms are guided by rapidly flying scout bees high in the swarm which repeatedly fly through the slower swarm in the intended direction of travel.
This makes me wonder if bees returning to an apiary confuse the swarm leading to them heading to the apiary?
So to paint a picture.

When my bees leave the Hive to Forage, they fly out to the right, Past 2 big trees and through a large gap in 2 houses and out into a forest and perhaps onto the hills and farmlands. When this swarm arrived, It came from the exact direction my foragers fly to and from. Between the the big gap and past the 2 big trees right over the top of my garden.

So I'm thinking the same as you. The swarm has started in the forest somewhere, they've picked up the scent of my bees or perhaps ran into my foragers on their way and got confused and followed them in. This area has never had a swarm, The neighbour has lived here for 20+ years and has never had one. I'm pretty sure it isn't coincidence.

Now I'd like to know exactly where this swarm was picked up from and where my Bees are going.

"not necessarily a queen - during swarming, some workers pipe too."
That was something I wasn't aware of, Could explain why the piping wasn't the usual 2 long and a few short after. It was more closer to a cat Meowing.

My case, when they leave one of my hives they land on a nearby branch. I have 24 hours to pick it up in a nucleus but with British punctuality, 24 hours after leaving they take flight to the final place, I have bait hives about 200 m away and some end up there.

I am of the belief that swarms can land twice? Is that correct? Once when leaving the Hive, Then onto the next landing before then selecting a final place? If it is just one stop, that would mean somebody within 100m or so has a hive.

Bees will always confound us, yesterday I went to collect a swarm that had been on shed for two days, whilst I was driving to it I received a message to say that they had just left and headed literally into the hills 😦 so we won't see them again. Yesterday was a warm and pleasant day here, unlike the cold windy place it is today.

I think yesterday and today were prime swarm days. It's been such bad weather lately that they seem to have taken the 1st good day to leave the Hive.
 
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A swarm can have 5 queens. 3 is ordinary.
During the 1st collection there was 1 clump. Second collection there were 2.

So far they have remained in the Hive. Look to be taking Pollen in and orientating out front. I placed a queen guard on the front which I think I will remove tomorrow in case the queen needs out to mate.
 
Hello.

In the Scottish Borders. Weather has been very poor. Rain, Cloud etc. Feeding my one colony for awhile now.

Yesterday was the 1st good day for a few months 25c. I was sitting in my garden with my cat, watching my Foragers go in and out and tracking the direction of their flight so I could get an idea of the areas they may likely be going off to.

5 Minutes or so later I heard a huge buzzing, Looked up and witnessed a huge Swarm moving in over my garden. My initial thought was "Oh no my hive is off" however this was too many bees for my Hive to have produced and I had inspected it just the day before. 0 Queen cells and more than enough stores so they clearly had not cleaned out the Hive in prep to swarm. So this was a wild swarm! 1st I had ever seen. Got my Nuc box, waited for them to land and got them all into a box, or what I could... The swarm was too big for the Nuc box.

Hived them as soon as I could because the Nuc box just did not have enough space. The remaining Bees happily walked into the Hive so I was fairly satisfied the Queen must be in there. Skip to today. Another Nice day, about 12 - 1PM they Re-Swarmed. I wasn't in at the time to witness the Exodus but I came home in time to see Bees all in the air again. Walking over to the Box I could see there was barely any Bees left. The Box however was pretty well drawn out for less than 1 days work. Honey stores, very small bit of Pollen.

So my question is. Why did they decide to re-swarm? If they had used up some of their consumed Nectar from the old Hive to Draw and Store in their new home, what could have triggered another swarm?

Also a follow up question. I've had my Nuc in my Garden for roughly 3 months after taking BeeKeeping back up. Is it just coincidence that a Swarm of Bees just decided to choose my Garden, taking into consideration I've lived here 5 years with no sign of Bees. Or did they perhaps smell the pheromones of Foraging Bees and follow them to me?

Sorry for the life story. Hope all is going well with your Hives.
I've had a swarm that landed in a Blackthorn bush. Got it into a nuc and all seemed hunky dory. Following day they came out and went back to the bush so I gathered them in again. Day 3 back in the bush. Hived them again and sprayed the bush with beequick. Day 4 they went off again I don't know where but the bequick stopped them going back to the bush. As the saying goes, **** happens and I didn't want to keep suffering the ministrations of the Blackthorn spikes.😞
 
I've had a swarm that landed in a Blackthorn bush. Got it into a nuc and all seemed hunky dory. Following day they came out and went back to the bush so I gathered them in again. Day 3 back in the bush. Hived them again and sprayed the bush with beequick. Day 4 they went off again I don't know where but the bequick stopped them going back to the bush. As the saying goes, **** happens and I didn't want to keep suffering the ministrations of the Blackthorn spikes.😞
Today they have stayed. Gave them Brood from my other colony and some Syrup up top. Seems to have kept them in. They have looked to be orienteering the Hive and Pollen has been coming in. Hopefully that's it.
 

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