Hope I solved my dilema

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by arkiebee, May 23, 2013.

  1. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Got to take a peek at my bees this afternoon since school was out early. I had one hive that I have been uneasy about because one day as I was out at the hives watching the bees come in, I saw a huge bunch of drones come into one hive like a fleet of bombers? I thought it was an unusually huge number of drones. Anyway, I got into the hive today and the bees had honey in the supers, but when I got down into the hive bodies, there was nothing. This was the hive that swarmed last month and I saw no eggs, larvae, or brood throughout two hive bodies.. In fact there were few bees in the hive bodies at all. - I was able to take the lower hive body off entirely. Our high school principal called me last weekend and he had a swarm of bees in his yard that were on the ground. I went over and got them. It wasn't a big swarm, but I brought them home. So - with the small swarm, and a queenless hive - I just combined the two. Was that a "good" thing or not? I figured the swarm must have had a queen, they were working quietly in the hive I put them in. Thought this would build it up quicker and the queen would take over the old hive. I did combine them with the newspaper method.

    HOW long should I wait before I check to see if things are ok?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Depends on if the swarm was a prime swarm (actively laying queen) or a secondary swarm (virgin queen). It sounds like it may be a secondary swarm, they are usually not that big.
    If it is a secondary swarm, she has to go out on mating flights, etc. so you may see eggs in 10 days to 2 weeks.
    If it was a prime swarm you may see eggs right away.
    Your decision to combine was a good one in my opinion.
     

  3. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Thanks PerryBee - but now you got me to wondering? If it was a secondary swarm and the queen was out getting mated and she came back - her hive is not in the same place as it was? It is just a few feet from the original place. Can she find her way back to her original home? Too late to do anything else differently now I guess - looks like it will be a waiting game.
     
  4. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    If it was only moved a few feet, she will find it.
     
  5. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Thanks gunsmith - How long do you guys recommend I wait before I check on the hive? I combined them with newspaper.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Give it a week to 10 days.
    My hunch is that you have a secondary swarm, and they were just resting, with scouts out looking for a new home when you picked them up. I doubt it had anything to do with a mating flight, but Gunny is correct, if you only move a hive a few feet they will find it.
     
  7. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    It's been 10 days and I checked my combo today. I did see the queen from the little swarm and she was a pretty good sized lady. I saw capped brood, larvae, etc. in the hive, but I just looked on one frame and I didn't see a whole lot. I wonder if she is a good queen? The brood pattern wasn't solid, it was a bit spotty. So should I give her a couple of more weeks before I decide to requeen that hive? I hate to get rid of a queen, but that hive had dwindled down in numbers before I combined it with the swarm I caught. I just don't want it to get too small. However, we are having a great honey flow right now. Clover is blooming like crazy and I am adding supers on my other hives.
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Give her a chance to settle in and get down to business. You shouldn't expect play-off performance from a rookie. When queens first start to lay it takes them a while to get themselves sorted out.
     
  9. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Unless you're Sidney Cros-bee. :lol:Wow, nice sports analogy--you go, Mr. Perrybee!:thumbsup: