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Peebels 

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Hi all

I wanted to canvas some opinions on what different people would do in my current situation!

Early yesterday morning on of my hives (superbee) swarmed and i have been able to retrieve it. It is currently in temporary hive (temp because its not the same quality as the others and would not be good for winter weather). The hive it has swarmed from (we think) is still appears very strong, hence why we only think. Another local BK thinks its hive 2 (to give it a label) because of the presence of drones around this one.

So given my location, situation and the factors below, what would you do? I may even consider buying in either a nuc box or poly hive if need be?

few other points -

- i currently have three hives on site and cant really keep more on a perm basis

- all three hives are national deep brood.

- the swarm is currently on new combs.

- i have limited experience so don't make it too technical

If i united with the old colony, should i remove the new queen? Im guessing its getting a little late for mating?

Thanks all in advance....

P
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Depends if you want (or can sell next year) an additional colony.

If you feed, the swarm will build fast, especially if you can slip a bit of drawn comb in there. Would it be viable by winter - all depends when winter comes! You could get one or two brood cycles complete before winter shuts everything down - enough for winter bees to be made.

The host colony is more of a problem to my mind. Now queenless, you're hoping for a queen to emerge and mate in September, then get laying. Slightly optimistic, again depends on the weather. If you can use the increase, I'd get a good mated queen in for the original colony. If you don't want the increase, I'd combine them - assuming your flown queen is good, kill off the queen cells in the originating hive.

Of course...you may find that it wasn't your swarm at all - and your originating hive may be queenright and quite happy.
 

Peebels 

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Of course...you may find that it wasn't your swarm at all - and your originating hive may be queenright and quite happy.
My thoughts exactly. If it was not for the fact they had been seen on my poly-tunnel (this forms one side of the apiary) i would have assumed they where not mine. The flown queen was new this year and was very good. I suspect the swarming is largely down to my inexperience and full appreciation of how fast i needed to work to keep on top of such a prolific colony.

Right now i am thinking i should combine them.

I understand this should be done with the queen-right colony below, but that would result in the queen-less (or soon to be when i have removed the queen cells) colony moving down into the hive with un-drawn combs, or would they all move up?
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Be careful. If your original hive is queen right, then it will go horribly wrong if you try to combine with a queen right swarm.
 

milkermel 

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I obtained a swarm in october last year and it went on to do wonderful, would it not be an idea to keep swarm in nuc box and then if any of your hives dont make it through winter you may have another to fall back on or otherwise sell in new year?
 

oliver90owner 

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Milkermal has the right idea. 'Cept a nuc box will not be big enough for all the drawn comb if the bees are treated right

Feed gently and the swarm will continue to build wax (they will be in a hurry initially). I would not give them comb while they were building wax, just feed enough to keep them at it. They may well need feeding quite a bit when brooding starts and a pollen frame popped across would not go amiss while brooding heavily (after a week or ten days?).

If they are not yours, is health a factor? Beware before combining. You will soon know anyway, when you find sealed queen cells (or not). Don't leave the checks too long as all the cells may soon be capped and you really need to leave an open queen cell at this time ofthe year if reducing to two.

Not necessarily late for mating - you did say there were still drones around, although they may be in short supply if forage is difficult to come by.

We are only mid-August - OK soon be late August. Many queens are superceded later than this. Also a couple frames of brood/food moved around later could make all the difference.

I would only be uniting later in the season - much later.

There is always the chance that they may supercede the swarmed queen before winter. No real hassle as she may be laying alongside her daughter and that will reinforce the colony numbers very quickly - as long as there are enough supplies of both protein and carbohydrate.

Looks like feeding is a definite necessity up your way anyhow, from reports on here.

Have fun. They always seem t do what they want to, don't they?

As in another recent post, if the hives are adjacent can the 'queen-cell' hive be moved just before emergence so that the hive loses it's flying bees (less chance of a cast)?

Don't get rid of the new queen just yet. There would be enough bees to make up a nuc, if you take that option. If uniting later, keeping the young queen would be my choice. Frankly, I might want to breed from the old queen if the results were that good! Young queens over-winter better than older ones.

Your call really.

Regards, RAB
 

Peebels 

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Thank for all the replys.

I have been down today to check all hives and it does look like it came from one of mine. Now everything has settled it does not look like the swarm was actually that big after all. I would have liked to maybe keep the swarm as a nuc/small colony for overwintering but i am due to go away very shortly so after much deliberation i think it might be best to unite. Besides however, i have already removed the capped queen cells ready for uniting later on. Had i seen a few more of these post i might not have bothered. But its all one big learning curve i suppose.

Is it absolutely essential to put the queenless hive on top of the queen-right hive?

Thanks again
 

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