Bees on the underside of the screened bottom

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Sharbee, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Sharbee

    Sharbee New Member

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    Newbie in Oklahoma here, have had my hive 1 year and I need guidance! Here's what happened, long but necessary. I did a full inspection Saturday and there were a large number of bees under the telescoping lid. I set the lid to the side of the hive to do the inspection. The hive, 2 deeps, was packed with bees and honey and I was worried about swarming because temps have been up to 70 during the day and there was a lot of drone larva so I attempted a walk-away split into a 3rd deep. After putting the original hive back together when I picked up the lid all the bees that had been on the lid were on the ground in a group the size of a dinner plate on the cement block under and beside the hive and they were fanning. A minute later they all started streaming towards the hive at once and I though they were going towards the entrance. I went to put my equipment away and went I came back they were gone so I didnt think a lot of it but yesterday I got to thinking about the streaming and fanning behavior and took a look under the hive with a flash light. See attached picture. Did I disturb a preswarm on the lid and now they are trying to reform a group to swarm or are they just clustering to keep warm? Do I need to get them back in the hive asap? I was going back into the hive Saturday to check on the split, is that soon enough? I closed off the sides and back of the hive and front has a reducer. Help! 20190320_174542.jpg
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd want to know if there is a queen in that clump. Saturday is 2 days off, any chance you can put some frames in a nuc and brush them off into it this evening, throw a feed jar on and close the hive, then inspect on saturday?

    Last time I had repeated clumps leaving, there 2 queens in my hive for all of the flow and they booted one queen when flow ended. And found a clump near the base of the hive with a queen in it and put her back in the same box twice, and they kicked her out again. This is where my advice to stick them in a nuc comes from.

    You will have to decide what to do, timewise, but my suggestion is get them in a nuc, be sure they don't starve and look saturday
     

  3. Sharbee

    Sharbee New Member

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    Thank you so much for the advice. I did what you said and dumped them in a nuc today with two frames of honey. We will see what happens I guess. It does sound a lot like there might have been another queen in there.
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So how are your bees?
     
  5. Sharbee

    Sharbee New Member

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    I apologize for taking so long to respond, got very busy and kept forgetting about my thread here. Actually nothing came of the nuc, most of the bees disappeared! I moved the rest back into my main hive. If there was a queen, I may have lost her in my poor attempt to get the clump into the nuc. The split seems to be doing well, I found two queen cells on March 27th as well as many drone cells and then one open queen cell on the 4th of April although I could not spot a queen. Looked in yesterday and my friend helping me out thought she saw the queen but no sign of new brood yet although it's early for it.
     
  6. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    If they were going to swarm there would be a capped queen cell in there. They would also have been making quite a ruckus
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hope they do well