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The Poot

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
3,225
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3,708
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
Five
Today a swarm erupted out of one of my hives and the bees decamped in next door’s garden.
After investigating the box I placed near them, they flew back home and re entered their hive.

There was a single queen cell on May 5th which I inadvertently destroyed trying to open it a bit to see if it was charged. It was.
May 9th checked the top box for cells and found none but the box was being back filled as there’s a major flow on.
I added a second drawn super.

The queen is not clipped, so what are the odds on swarming again? Would you just split?
 
I suspect that you have missed a queen cell somewhere and this 'false swarm' was a precursor to them going properly .. I've seen this happen once in my apiary - I think, perhaps, they failed to encourage the queen to leave with them. The following day ... they were off !

I found the queen cell after they had gone, tucked in a corner of a frame and I had missed it. Lesson learned. If I were you I would have a very thorough look through all the boxes.
 
Did you go into it to find out what is there now? Do you think you might have missed something?
More than likely!
I’ve been through it today again and found play cups, slightly extended and one queen cell, about half extended.
Both boxes absolutely packed with bees. Try as I might I couldn’t find the queen -and I took a long time looking for her.
So, I’ve split following David Evans advice: moved the hive across the garden. New box where the hive was with two frames of eggs, young and capped brood. Supers put back on.
Then filled the old hive top brood box with two new frames.
Now to wait seven days to re inspect. He reckons the old hive, having lost the foragers will tear down the queen cells.
But, I guess if I missed a capped queen cell the old hive will still swarm?

This, swarm control, is my weakest area in beekeeping and I feel so useless!
Currently there’s hundreds of bees on the front of the old hive - just hanging out in the sun as they were before I moved the hive!
 
I suspect that you have missed a queen cell somewhere and this 'false swarm' was a precursor to them going properly .. I've seen this happen once in my apiary - I think, perhaps, they failed to encourage the queen to leave with them. The following day ... they were off !

I found the queen cell after they had gone, tucked in a corner of a frame and I had missed it. Lesson learned. If I were you I would have a very thorough look through all the boxes.
Thanks Philip, I’m pretty sure that I’ve missed something. It’s the only conclusion I can come to.
Having now split them, I’m hoping they’ll stay put. Tomorrow’s forecast is for heavy rain during the afternoon.
 
What you are doing is essentially the same as what I am doing - leave the queen with the brood but bleed off the flying bees who drive swarming. What I've read says they will take down all the QCs but I did it anyway.
The flying bees on the old site should make QCs (though maybe not good ones).
My plan is to inspect at a week, take down the QCs with the flying bees and give them 2 new frames with eggs&larvae, and look again a week later with a view to uniting.
The difference is I am doing it on one site with a split board and can use it to bleed off more foragers after a week.
Let us know how it goes! I think you will be fine as the flying bees who want to swarm should give up.
I do wonder if they will start the process again once united though!
 
What you are doing is essentially the same as what I am doing - leave the queen with the brood but bleed off the flying bees who drive swarming. What I've read says they will take down all the QCs but I did it anyway.
The flying bees on the old site should make QCs (though maybe not good ones).
My plan is to inspect at a week, take down the QCs with the flying bees and give them 2 new frames with eggs&larvae, and look again a week later with a view to uniting.
The difference is I am doing it on one site with a split board and can use it to bleed off more foragers after a week.
Let us know how it goes! I think you will be fine as the flying bees who want to swarm should give up.
I do wonder if they will start the process again once united though!
Thanks Sutty, that’s a little reassuring. I need to unite later too as the apiary just continues to grow 🤯
I’ll report back in a week👍
 
What you are doing is essentially the same as what I am doing - leave the queen with the brood but bleed off the flying bees who drive swarming. What I've read says they will take down all the QCs but I did it anyway.
The flying bees on the old site should make QCs (though maybe not good ones).
My plan is to inspect at a week, take down the QCs with the flying bees and give them 2 new frames with eggs&larvae, and look again a week later with a view to uniting.
The difference is I am doing it on one site with a split board and can use it to bleed off more foragers after a week.
Let us know how it goes! I think you will be fine as the flying bees who want to swarm should give up.
I do wonder if they will start the process again once united though!
Give the colony underneath a nice new queen. Combine once she is well accepted, has her own offspring around her and is building numbers back up again. Come back a few days after combining and condense the brood into one box. Pop on a queen excluder and supers. Sell the old queen from the top (with full disclosure) to someone desperate. Sit back with a nice drink and watch the summer nectar come piling in. No swarm.
 
Today a swarm erupted out of one of my hives and the bees decamped in next door’s garden.
After investigating the box I placed near them, they flew back home and re entered their hive.

There was a single queen cell on May 5th which I inadvertently destroyed trying to open it a bit to see if it was charged. It was.
May 9th checked the top box for cells and found none but the box was being back filled as there’s a major flow on.
I added a second drawn super.

The queen is not clipped, so what are the odds on swarming again? Would you just split?
I went to swarm that did exactly that a couple of weeks ago. Swarmed then returned. Went through the person's hive and removed loads of queen cells and left two. One in top and one in bottom of double brood and removed the queen and a couple of frames of brood. Was a bit concerned which queen I had removed but she was mated as eggs laid shortly after. The hive then swarmed five days later so hives that swarm with a virgin and checked the queen cells. One open and one closed. Then they swarmed again. Collected that swarm too and found the hidden third queen cell. Let the virgin out and fingers crossed!!!!
 

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