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Queenless hive just swarmed.

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chalkie 

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Just been down to the hives and whilst i was there my queenless hive which i checked on tuesday has just swarmed, the swarm has split into two, one 15 foot up a tree the other 2 or 3 foot of the ground in some brambles.
How could this happen (please read previous thread http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1457 )
i'm sure i didnt leave any other cells and there was no eggs or lava :confused:

Problem now what to do with them, i have no spare equipment as these where took up with earlier swarms and i can't get in touch with my mentor.
 
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jon 

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I would guess that you missed 2 queen cells and one virgin left with a cast.
Did you shake the bees off the frames on your last inspection.
It is very easy to miss a queen cell.
Are there bees left in the box?

In the other thread you said this box had already swarmed. What date did the prime swarm leave?
 

chalkie 

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Not sure of date off last swarm would have to check records which are down with the hives, both me and my mentor checked the hive and thought we only left the one cell which was due to emerge last week, we missed the one which i mentioned in the other thread but i can't see us missing another 2.
I'm well gutted at the mo as i need to get back to them but unsure of what i can do with them (if i can catch them before they go again).
 

jon 

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If you capture your swarm, you can put it back in the box it came out of. Just make sure there are no sealed queen cells in there or it will swarm again.
Put a board covered by a sheet up to the entrance of your hive and just tip the swarm out on it. They will walk in.
If there are two virgins they will fight but you wont get a swarm unless there is a sealed queen cell.
 

chalkie 

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By the time i'd managed to get the prime swarm the smaller one had vanished, think it must have gone back to hive as the front of hive was full of bees faning which they wern't doing when i left them.
Went through the hive and opened the cell which hadnt hatched, inside was a worker, found another small queen cell in the middle of a frame took the cap of and a queen emerged ran round the frame and dropped into hive:(.
I then shook the swarm into hive closed it up and left them to it.
Thanks to jon and victor meldrew (john)
 

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You need to find that new queen and get her into an apidea with some nurse bees. If you don't they will probably throw a cast swarm and she will be on her way.

You might also want to leave a nuc with some drawn comb, or foundation nearby to catch any swarms that might try and leave.
 

jon 

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Mission:
If there are no sealed queen cells you will not get a cast.
In the worst case scenario there will be two virgins who will fight and I think there is probably only the one which was in the swarm.
That's why I said it was important to ensure there are no sealed queen cells in the hive before putting the swarm back.

Chalkie:
I think you may be misunderstanding the term "Prime Swarm" The Prime swarm is the first to leave which has the old queen in it. If I read the other thread correctly, this colony swarmed a couple of weeks back and that was the prime swarm.
I think what has happened is you missed some very small emergency queen cells which were hard to spot. When one hatched, you got todays events as you can get a cast like this if there is still another sealed cell left in the colony. You said you destroyed a small one you found so if there are no more, your queen will mate and hopefully start laying within a couple of weeks.

The two swarms you saw today were probably just one and part of it settled on a different branch. The part without a queen drifted back to the hive.

I once collected a swarm in a skep and left it sitting for the bees to all collect inside. An hour later I lifted the skep and went to house it in a nuc. When I turned the skep over it was completely empty. I was with my dad who is also a beekeeper and he cracked up laughing at the empty skep. The swarm had no queen and had just slowly drifted back to the colony it had emerged from.

PS
Oops. Just noticed you opened a cell and released a queen. You will get a fight between 2 queens but the colony can't swarm again without a sealed cell.
 
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Mission 

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Mission:
If there are no sealed queen cells you will not get a cast.
In the worst case scenario there will be two virgins who will fight and I think there is probably only the one which was in the swarm.
That's why I said it was important to ensure there are no sealed queen cells in the hive before putting the swarm back.

PS
Oops. Just noticed you opened a cell and released a queen. You will get a fight between 2 queens but the colony can't swarm again without a sealed cell.
Hi Jon, we had this same problem with a hive 4 weeks ago. No more sealed cells in a swarmed hive, and a 2nd queen hatched and legged it into the hive. I said it exactly the same, leave them to it and the queens will fight it out and the winner will take over the hive. 2 days later a cast swarm duly left the hive. It can and does happen.
 

jon 

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Mission it may be the same situation. There was probably a really small emergency cell somewhere which you missed.
I do acknowledge however that the bees do not always read the books.

I had a small swarm today and I haven't worked out where it came from yet. I did my weekly check on all 8 colonies and it is too small to be a prime swarm anyway. I suspect it came out of one of my nucs. I didn't see a marked queen in it and I have all of last years marked and 6 of this years.
 

jon 

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I forgot to add that this swarm showed impeccable taste by settling on the sole grapevine on my plot about 1 foot off the ground.
It could easily have chosen rhubarb.
 
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