failed Swarm?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by new2it, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. new2it

    new2it New Member

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    I am posting this for a friend with a LARGE feral hive in a tree in his front yard. He has called me for two days saying the bees in this tree are trying (and failing) to swarm. He said yesterday approximately 200 bees swarmed out of the tree and "tornadoed" (his word) around in the air, but never landed anywhere. Then proceeded to go back in. this was 2:00pm. He just called me and told me that they are doing the same thing again today, right now. I put a bait hive out in his yard about a week ago. Any idea what may be going on? He says it isn't orientation flights, but I haven't seen the activity for myself so I don't know.
     
  2. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    Not uncommon (but not commonly witnessed). This is how a lot of feral hives are "discovered" by the homeowners, etc. All the sudden activity draws their attention to the bees.

    If the queen or the masses do not follow the scouts out, they will return to the hive. They'll likely get it right in next attempt or two. If possible, try to set up a camera to record the impending swarm (could be awesome footage!).

    If you are interested in how the bees work it all out, look for the book "Honeybee Democracy" by Seeley for more information on the topic.

    If you have some empty drawn comb, now would be a good time to include it in your swarm trap.