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are the girls fixin to leave home?

1526 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BjornBee
Bees are really active today in Central pa.68 deg and more traffic than I have ever seen at the hive. What do bees look like before they get ready to swarm?? Is it too early for them to leave??

I opened the top box to look and lots of brood, when I pulled frames apart some big pupae fell out onto the floor... I guess they are just making cells between the frames or are these superceeder queen cells ... big bees typically make brood comb between the frames in the upper hive body mid frame. The girls didn't like the pupae exposed and covered the ones that were still in cells. This is a nuc started last summer from a local breeder. I replaced a colony that had a non productive queen that slowly faded to a few hundred workers with no brood.

The new colony survived the winter well and they have been bringing in lots of pollen and eating everything I put in. They have been drowning in the neighbors fountain so I put a bucket of water about 20' away with a mesh in it to give them access but so far no takers. Maybe I should ask him to cover his fountain up for a few days to retrain the girls to find a new source?

Stressing out over queens...

Bees bees bees, feeding in the trees...
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Many bees flying= Orientation and cleansing flights after a cold spell.
Larva between boxes= drone brood

Queen cells for swarming will be on or near the bottom of the frames, and will not be in masse, but rather individual. In PA., I think it is still very early for swarms.

Covering the fountain far a few days will help to start them on a new water source.

Bjorn will be along shortly to confirm this.
Iddee is correct, it is a little early for swarms. Just last week, we had ice on the car on Monday, snow showers on Tuesday. And the next few days will be in the 50's. With nights hovering at the freezing point. Were about three weeks out from the earliest swarms happening.

What I would do, unless they are starving, is quit feeding. Bees should of used up about 75% of their winter stores which opens up the comb for the queen to lay in. This will allow maximum brood production. Which in turn increases your honey production and swarming...;)

You also can put on a super perhaps next week in anticipation of dandelions and better weather.

No swarms yet. But have that box ready..;)
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