Swarm entering a hive - then leaving it?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by arkiebee, May 24, 2010.

  1. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    My other post (Swarm entering hive) I told you guys about witnessing a swarm taking over a weak hive. Well that swarm has "left" that hive. I had 6 swarms and 5 hives. I checked in that hive yesterday and there were not very many bees in there so I know that is what happened. So why would a swarm enter a hive to take it over then leave it?
    I did see a little new queen in that hive yesterday and not a whole lot of capped brood. I figured she is just learning so I didn't see any new eggs, etc. When should I check on this hive again and would it be a good idea to put a frame of brood in there from one of my bigger hives - EVEN THOUGH - all of my hives swarmed - after I went ahead and split them? I don't want to reduce numbers in my good hives if I don't have to?
    I guess these swarms didn't want to be caught because everyone of them went to the TOP of an post-oak tree. The only swarm that was low enough for me to catch was the one that took over my weaker hive - then they apparently didn't like that home?? I can't figure these little gals out!
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    well unless my math has gone south that means at least one hive issued multiple swarms. some lines of stock (I think the Carnolians have the reputation???) will issue multiple after swarms. when a hive does issue multiple after swarms the hive will look extremely depleted of population.

    most likely the queen you saw left the hive as a virgin which is typically the case of most afters warms. the time required between issue of the after swarm and laying may be as much as 2 weeks.

    absconding (the bees leaving the existing nest is really absconding and not swarming) by european honey bees is typically associated with starvation, although I would assume you still have something of a flow there???? since a virgin can not lay down a brood patch the workers will not be quite so attached to the nest site... any kind of disturbance or stress 'might' create the motivation for them to leave.
     

  3. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    We are still having a honey flow here in NW Arkansas because we have clover blooming like crazy as well as other blooming wildflowers.

    The colony of bees that are left in that hive are not very big, would it matter if I took a good sized frame of brood, eggs, etc and put in there from one of my other hives even though all of them have already swarmed? I still have 4 strong hives going from my original hives (lot of bee traffic on the outside) so I don't think it would hurt. I have never been in a situation where I have had a weak hive like this compared to my other hives and I am always reluctant to take from one hive and give to another, but in this case I think I need to. :confused:

    I have Russians, Italians, and Carnolians.
     
  4. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Arkiebee,
    I beleive this would be a good segway into why some attempt to control swarming would be appropriate. If you recall a topic I started called " I just don't get it!!! " most replied ranged from I like swarms, to there is nothing I can do to prevent them so I have to live with it. Well in fact there is much that can ber done, with alittle effort, and irregardless of what others have stated as gospel you can LARGELY, not entirely prevent swarming. Some strains as stated are more prone to being swarmy then others, even then there still is much that you can do to avoid alot of swarming. I am in no way critizing you, but you seemed to be asking for information about what to do, and how to help yourself. first and foremost--learn and practice any and all techniques, find what works best for your situation, and practice it as a religous experience almost. It works--really. feel free to PM me or any of the other more experienced beekeepers.
    Always remember, the really dumb question--is the one not asked
    Barry