Swarming already!

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Marco666 

New Bee
Joined
May 24, 2015
Messages
61
Reaction score
0
Location
Seaford
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Unfortunately I had to leave for a few days and I think one or two of my colonies might have swarmed yesterday. My neighbours have seen lots of bees in their garden and this morning I had a look: I couldn't see the old queen and there were still queen cells in both colonies. I got rid of all queen cells but i'm not sure if they have swarmed or not. I'm not sure what to do now because I don't know if they are without a queen or not. What would it be next best move? Try to find the old queen? Let them raise a new one? Thank you very much.
Marco.
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,528
Reaction score
27
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
Unfortunately I had to leave for a few days and I think one or two of my colonies might have swarmed yesterday. My neighbours have seen lots of bees in their garden and this morning I had a look: I couldn't see the old queen and there were still queen cells in both colonies. I got rid of all queen cells but i'm not sure if they have swarmed or not. I'm not sure what to do now because I don't know if they are without a queen or not. What would it be next best move? Try to find the old queen? Let them raise a new one? Thank you very much.
Marco.
have they eggs?, were the queen cells capped?
 

TryingToLetThemBee 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
3,226
Reaction score
9
Location
Traditional Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20 depending
1) It is not "already" a month ago was "already". This is peak swarm season.

2) Assuming (I think it's fair) they have swarmed, removing all QCs would have been a serious mistake (I assume you don't mean you put two into nucs). Luckily you are likely to have missed some. If not, hope they have very young brood or you almost certainly have two hopelessly Q- colonies.

Don't beat yourself up; I have done far worse. But prepare to beg a frame of young brood off an Association member (not being a member would be something to beat yourself up over).

What I would do is look for eggs and 1 or 2-day old larvae (<2x egg size, roughly). If you have some in one, not the other, do a transplant. After that leave them alone for a few days and look for eggs (count your stars) or QCs. If there are some, do NOTHING for three weeks. If there are none <ADD> look for emerged QCs (easier to find; look from below). If none of those either </ADD>, start looking for a test frame. QCs in one not in the other is more subtle; check back with details in that case.

ADD If it really looks like one has not swarmed, you need to do an AS.
 
Last edited:

jenkinsbrynmair 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
26,136
Reaction score
3,663
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
I couldn't see the old queen and there were still queen cells in both colonies.
When you say still were there queen cells there before?

What would it be next best move? Try to find the old queen? Let them raise a new one?
Marco.
The first move would have beel to confirm whether the queen had gone, see availability of eggs in the colony then take down all the queen cells (or all but one if they were Q-)
 

Fatbee 

Field Bee
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
626
Reaction score
0
Location
Buckinghamshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7
They certainly are swarming - was pleased as punch to discover a swarm in one of my bait hives only to discover it was one of mine! At least I caught it and didn't lose it.

Key thing for you is to hope that you have not knocked down all of the queen cells. How thorough were you going through the brood frames?
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,528
Reaction score
27
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
Did you do a Beekeeping Course with your local BKA ? What books have you got on Beekeeping so we can refer you to the relevant sections
 

Nige.Coll 

Drone Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
331
Location
East Midlands
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
some + a few more
"I couldn't see the old queen and there were still queen cells in both colonies"
"I got rid of all queen cells"


If they have no eggs/larvae you have rendered them hopelessly queenless unless you missed a queen cell.

"Let them raise a new one?"
They were trying to raise a new queen it would seem.

You should NEVER remove all the queen cells if you aren't sure they have a queen.
If you have done the ultimate boo boo then you will have to add a frame of eggs from another colony if you have one or try and get one from a friend.
 

Marco666 

New Bee
Joined
May 24, 2015
Messages
61
Reaction score
0
Location
Seaford
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Thank you very much everyone. I will check for eggs and if there are none I will get a frame with eggs from my third hive. Fingers crossed.
Sorry for my ignorance!
 

BeeJayBee 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
5,203
Reaction score
0
Location
Hants
Hive Type
langstroth
Sorry for my ignorance!
No need to apologise, I think everybody does it but only once!

It's easy enough to get into a bit of a panic and tear down all the queen cells, only to realise as you're pulling off the last one that there isn't a single egg or young larva left in the hive.
 

Latest posts

Top