Micro-swarm... now what?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Hobie, May 17, 2010.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Yesterday, I'm guessing one of my hives swarmed but I missed it. I did find on the ground what I assume was an after-swarm. There was a queen and literally no more than a handful of bees.

    I put down a box with comb, but the queen did not want to go in. So I cheated, put a queen excluder on the bottom, and dropped her and some of her entourage in the top. Not sure if she'd be able to get through or not, but it was worth a shot. By late afternoon, there were bees still buzzing around the box. There was also a small group of drones still on the ground, with a few worker bees that looked to be "attacking" them, or at least trying to make them leave.

    Two questions:

    First, what do I do with such a tiny swarm? They will never survive. My first thought was to see if I can find someone local who needs a queen.

    Second, what's up with the group of drones?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, the best thing to do is use the queen and an ounce of alcohol to make a swarm lure.

    The most fun thing to do would be to add a frame of capped brood and bees to the hive and see if you can build it into a hive.

    second, anytime there is a young female looking for love, there will always be a group of drones around to do the job.
     

  3. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Thanks. iddee. Unfortunately, I do not have the time this year to add a hive. That and the fact that the neighboring nursery has planted shrubs this year and they spray those things weekly. I fear for my current bees, and am hesitant to add any more into a bad situation.

    Anyway, I found a local man who has retrieved a small band of orphan bees. The town cut a tree with a hive in it, and these are the lost foragers who came home to find it gone. He is coming over today to pick up my tiny group.

    What is the best way for him to combine? I'm guessing his box of bees, a layer of newspaper, and my box of bees on top. Or will queenless bees readily accept any queen? This man is more experienced than I, and he may know.