Swarm boxed today

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Jonnyl

House Bee
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
279
Reaction score
42
Location
Stirling
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Hi all. I boxed a swarm today, a big one, in September, in Central Scotland. Ive placed them at the site still in the nuc with a hive ready for them. Its late in the year, what are the chances a virgin queen will get mated? Its going to get cold here, very soon, and id rather not keep opening the box to check on her. I cant think of an alternative though? Any other tips you have for a late season swarm please dont hesistate to add. Many thanks in advance.
 
You could seive them through a QE to remove the Q (though you may need a couple of frames with brood to attract them down, then remove the Q (unless obviously a laying queen in which case just hive them).
You could then unite the queenless swarm with another hive eg with air freshener. It's worked for me before without removing the queen (though one was with a queenless colony). I just removed a few frames to make a gap, sprayed the recipient hive, sprayed the swarm a couple of times, tipping around between sprays, and tipped them into the gap before gently replacing the frames, easing them down as the bees moved. No fighting.
 
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I think I might be prepared to gamble on a big swarm being a prime with a mated queen and give her a couple of weeks to get laying before doing as Sutty suggests. Perhaps feed them in a couple of days to give them the wherewithal for building lots of comb? For me it's always going to feel like a bit of a gamble at this point in the year though, even down here in the south. I'd bet that the chances of a virgin queen getting mated well are becoming really very slim now.

Alternatively, if you have a weaker colony with a queen you like, do as Sutty suggests now and take the benefit of having a strong colony going into winter.

James
 
Hi all. I boxed a swarm today, a big one, in September, in Central Scotland. Ive placed them at the site still in the nuc with a hive ready for them. Its late in the year, what are the chances a virgin queen will get mated? Its going to get cold here, very soon, and id rather not keep opening the box to check on her. I cant think of an alternative though? Any other tips you have for a late season swarm please dont hesistate to add. Many thanks in advance.
It could be a mated queen and a beekeeper has overfed and made the hive syrup bound, that's why you have a swarm.
 
Going this norning Eric. Hope im not too late.
 
All done. 5 frames of bees,14x12, into the full hive. Couldnt see a marked queen which is concerning. I'll go back in a couple of days and check for eggs and then vape and feed heavy syrup. Anything ive missed?
 

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