Very strange mini-swarm

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

hive-got-bees 

New Bee
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
London
Hive Type
none
Close to my home in London is a tennis-ball-sized swarm of bees hanging from a tree. They've been there for the last 2 weeks or so, and during the day, bees fly to and from it, as if to a hive. Any ideas why they are doing this?- why haven't they found a cavity to settle in by now? And is it worth collecting them and putting them in a mini-nuc, or are they simply too small in number to survive the winter?
 

Beauhawk 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
189
Reaction score
0
Location
Tonbridge, Kent
Hive Type
national
Well I think it's fair to say that they will not survive the winter as they are so their only chance if if someone collects and sticks them in a poly nuc or the like but then the survival chances seem low.

They are probably out foraging which is why you see them flying during the day.

Where in London are they, perhaps a local beek may come and collect?
 

TryingToLetThemBee 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
10
Location
Traditional Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20 depending
Would collection involve collecting any comb and brood they might have? London conditions have been exceptionally favourable the last 2 weeks?
 

sharonh 

House Bee
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
494
Reaction score
0
Location
Co Westmeath Ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
5
Collect them, they deserve a chance.
Just be careful about disease and your own colony's.
if you had another place to put them, as a temporary measure ,until you know their full condition.
Feed them well & see what happens.
Sharon
 

TryingToLetThemBee 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
10
Location
Traditional Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20 depending
You've been beekeeping for 2 years, but it shows you with no colonies. If that's wrong, or you have a friendly mentor etc, a frame of brood and/or stores would make a huge difference. Again, they ARE around in London at the moment and the forecast is holding up after a cold Thursday.
 

hive-got-bees 

New Bee
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
London
Hive Type
none
I do have two hives, just haven't updated my profile. But isn't it too late to give them a frame of brood...there would be no way they could build up in sufficient numbers before the winter? And I could put them in a poly, but, again, there are so few of them that I don't see how they could survive the winter. And I don't really want to introduce them to either of my colonies in case they are diseased.
 

Roola 

Field Bee
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
985
Reaction score
0
Location
North London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
30+
I do have two hives, just haven't updated my profile. But isn't it too late to give them a frame of brood...there would be no way they could build up in sufficient numbers before the winter? And I could put them in a poly, but, again, there are so few of them that I don't see how they could survive the winter. And I don't really want to introduce them to either of my colonies in case they are diseased.
Do you not have another site you could move them to? If so might be worth givinh them a chance at least? If there are enough to nurse the brood and you can spare it then its not too late.
 

TryingToLetThemBee 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
10
Location
Traditional Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20 depending
I do have two hives, just haven't updated my profile. But isn't it too late to give them a frame of brood...there would be no way they could build up in sufficient numbers before the winter? And I could put them in a poly, but, again, there are so few of them that I don't see how they could survive the winter. And I don't really want to introduce them to either of my colonies in case they are diseased.
Yes it's obviously not worth a merge. And I don't know enough to assess how successful introducing a frame would be; others will have a view. All I would say is it's amazing what people seem to get through the winter in those little boxes and the forecast does look good for now in our little sub-tropical island-in-an-island... Do you have a poly nuc box, or can borrow one?
 

TryingToLetThemBee 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
10
Location
Traditional Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20 depending
...or whip one up with some expanded polystyrene and glue. <ADD>Actually, forget that. Not a great idea.</ADD>
 

HM Honey 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
427
Reaction score
0
Location
Wakefield, Yorkshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
"A Tennis ball sized Swarm" ?

Their dead already, leave them be. Very little chance of them making it through winter and why weaken one of your existing colonies this late in the season?

And I wouldnt even consider combining them into one of your own colonies as you have no idea where they stand regarding desease.

You cant save every bee, and may end up reducing the chances of one of your own colonies making it to spring in doing so.
 

BeeJayBee 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
5,203
Reaction score
0
Location
Hants
Hive Type
langstroth
But isn't it too late to give them a frame of brood...there would be no way they could build up in sufficient numbers before the winter? And I could put them in a poly, but, again, there are so few of them that I don't see how they could survive the winter.
they deserve a chance
:iagree:

If you leave them where they are they will die, if you put them into a warm box they might not.

If you give them a frame of brood you will also need to give them some nurse bees as there probably won't be enough to keep the brood warm. Adding more bees could mean fighting.
 

Beauhawk 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
189
Reaction score
0
Location
Tonbridge, Kent
Hive Type
national
:yeahthat:
Where in London are they? Someone will at least give them a chance if it is fairly close.
 

derekm 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jun 18, 2011
Messages
6,156
Reaction score
144
Location
xyz
Hive Type
national
...or whip one up with some expanded polystyrene and glue. <ADD>Actually, forget that. Not a great idea.</ADD>
some one on this forum (not me) got a mugful of bees through winter, using a folding frame and very very thick kingspan.
horizontal crossection area down, height up to allow them to have a comfort point, insulation up up up.
 

drstitson 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
7,658
Reaction score
0
Location
surrey, lincolnshire etc.
Hive Type
dadant
Number of Hives
14
""A Tennis ball sized Swarm" ?
Their dead already, leave them be."

sure - but why not give them a chance - tennis ball sounds good enough for an apidea and there's time for a little more brood rearing before winter.
 

thebhoy 

House Bee
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
332
Reaction score
0
Location
Sutton, London
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
28
where in london are you and are they collectable?
Always worth a try to save them, by the sounds of it they may have some comb and are rearing brood already.....will surely die if left.
 

REDWOOD 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
8,283
Reaction score
10
Location
swansea south wales
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
10
Probably the remains of a swarm that was collected and the queens scent is still there, I would pick them up and shake them in front of a hive
 

Stiffy 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
2,291
Reaction score
18
Location
Kernow
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
50+
Probably the remains of a swarm that was collected and the queens scent is still there, I would pick them up and shake them in front of a hive
Not sure I would shake in front of hive unless I knew were they had come from . Might be carrying something nasty !
S
 

Latest posts

Top