Practice swarm maybe

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by brooksbeefarm, May 20, 2011.

  1. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Was mowing yesterday down by one of my bee yards when i noticed bees swirling in the air and checking out a certain cedar limb, i thought it was a swarm in progress? I walked to the beeyard and found which hive they were coming from, they were bearding all over the hive front and the bees swirling in the air started coming back to the hive and settled down. I went into the hive and sure enough there was swarm cells, well i made 3 nucs and went through the frames twice looking for the queen and never found her, so i left 2 queen cells. The frames i took i replaced with frames of foundation.( hoping to make them think they had swarmed) Haven't figured out why they made a practice run on swarming, but glad they did, i hate losing bees to a swarm. Anyone know why they done this :confused: Jack
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    technically not a practice swarm my guess is they had earlier landed and clustered on the cedar tree. They discovered the queen had not left so you witnessed the bees returning to the hive
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good call rat, i never thought of that. :thumbsup: Jack
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Watch for them to go for real this afternoon or tomorrow. The practice run, "queenless" happens often. They will go again if you didn't take the queen with the split.
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Couldn't find the queen, i can usualy find her in the bottom box ready to go,but not this time.It was late yesterday afternoon when i split them and it's been cool and raining ever since and not supposed to let up till next week. Your right Iddee, i'll have to keep a close eye on them when the sun comes out. I'll go back in and look for the queen again. Jack
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wonder if the original queen might already be gone?
    Last year I was going through 3 hives that all had swarm cells on the go (poor management, moving at the time).
    I split 2 of them no problem but on the third one I found eggs but after going through it 3 times, no queen. :confused:
    The next day I went back out to look one more time and as I'm going through the hive I hear a roar from up a tree about 50' away and off goes the swarm. It was probably there from the day before and I had just not noticed it in the tree.
     
  7. Tia

    Tia New Member

    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Even if you can't find the queen, it might help if you moved that hive to a new location so the bees think they've already swarmed. Just IMHO
     
  8. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tia, have you tried that? that's a new one on me :confused: . What puzzled me on this one is, they never lit on a branch of the cedar tree, (they could have been there and had left when i saw them) and there must have been 3 pounds of bees bearding on front of their hive. I had been through the hive 2 weeks ago and put a queen excluder and honey supers on, no queen cells seen then. This has been a strange spring (a wet one) when the sun is out and i'm working in the truck patch, the hum from the bee yards can be heard 100 yards away, makes you think there swarming. :roll: Jack