5/23/18 Bee's Swarmed Guidance welcome Please!

May 20th after all the rain, I had a practice swarm which I had no idea would happen. But thanks to the good people on Flow Forums I learned this vital information.

Today, I was able to “Catch a Swarm” what a strange feeling for a newbee beekeeper!

The only extra hive/box I had was a Nuc box. I just received my brand new Flow hive which I’m in the process of constructing.

The questions I have is, how long can I keep the bee’s in my nuc box? I was hoping to have my Flow hive completed by 5/24/18. Any suggestions…

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This frame is from my hive that just swarmed. I located the Queen that remained in the hive.

I noticed a few Queen cells on this frame only. All other frames are clear of Queen cells.

Did I do correctly by putting the frame back without removing the Queen cells?


Well I suppose there are more questions to ask before I would give you what I would do with this situation.

The swarm should be ok for a little while in the NUC depending on the size of the swarm? What for frames did you put in the NUC? If you have plain frames without any pulled comb the swarm should begin building comb. If you still have a queen with the old hive I would look to see if there are eggs and the swarm left with a virgin queen. You will want the swarm to build up the frames in the NUC box until they are 80% or more full before you can move them into the brood box you got with the flow hive.

If it was me I would leave the other queen in the original hive with resources and hopefully she will still continue to lay eggs and rebuild the hive. The frame with the queen cells I would put in another NUC box with nurse bees and some pollen/nectar. When those queen cells emerge one will survive and go on her mating flight. If all would work out you could have three hives instead of one. If for some reason the queen that left with the swarm didn’t successfully mate then you have enough bees to merge those back with the old hive using the newspaper trick.

There is still plenty of time for the bees to build up enough resources to make it thru the winter. Ultimately it all comes down to how many hives you want to have. Glad you caught the swarm and good luck with whatever your decision is!


Hi John, All frames are new, including me & my hives (2) until I get the flow hive built. The swarm was not huge.

I’m out of boxes/hives/nucs, the only box I have left is a swarm trap. I can get my flow hive brood box together and install that frame with the queen cells in the flow hive but then I have no place for the bees from the nuc.

I am clueless when it comes to the newspaper trick. Since I’m limited to equipment, the newspaper trick might be my only option…I’m pretty sure that my Queen successfully mated, how would you know if she did’ent? The hive that swarmed and the new swarm are calmed down. What a crazy few hours this has been! I must be honest, I’m a little overwhelmed.

Any advice would be great!

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Hello Dan, Don’t think too much, you will only find more questions :grinning: The newspaper ‘trick’ is one of the easier thing in bee keeping. For example you have a hive that you want to combine a swarm that came from the same hive it is simply a matter of removing the hive top and placing a couple of sheets of newspaper over everything and then placing the donor box on top of the hive and the top back on the hive. The newspaper acts as a barrier that the donor bees will eat through and will in that time be accepted by the recipient hive. Don’t even look for the queen in the donor hive. Sometimes the queens will both lay happily together but if not let them sort it out.
If the swarm is from a different hive then first find if the donor hive has a queen and it does then find the queen in the recipient hive and ‘boot’ her(kill) then proceed as above and you will have a new queen and a single hive, assuming she successfully mated she will be laying brood within a few days of the combining of the hives and after a couple more days look for worker brood.
If it is found that all the brood is drone cells(very convexed caps, bulging outwards) then you have an un-mated queen. In that case the hive will make their own queen.
You will just have to think it all through then do it calmly knowing you have the procedure in your mind and you will be ok.
By the way, welcome to the forum and to bee keeping !!!:grin:

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Those are beautiful queen cells and it’d be ashame to let them go to waste. If you cold get another box to put them and the nurse bees covering them and one more frame with honey and pollen you’ll have a 3rd hive with ample time for them to build up and over-winter.

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Hi Peter, I hate to be the one to tell you, concaved is sunken in, while convexed is bulging out. I still remember our teacher telling us to think of a cave while trying to remember which is which.

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I got that well and truly about face, and instantly reading your message I knew you were right. Thanks mate

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Hey Red, At the present time I don’t have another box. I just received my Flow hive which I am forced to use for the swarm.

What do I do with the Frame wall the queen cells, leave it in the box that swarmed?

Please let me know.


I am going to move the swarm from the nuc box to the brood box in my new flow hive.

Should I keep the frame w/all the queen cells in the box that swarmed since I’m out of boxes?

Suggestions always welcome!

Thank you!

@Dan_C you absolutely can leave the queen cells in the hive that swarmed. If the queen that went with the swarm is mated then the bees will take care of those cells and things should get back to normal. Otherwise the bees may leave them and in a couple weeks you should have a laying queen. You will need to keep an eye on the hive that you put the frame with the queen cells on. If you don’t see eggs around two weeks after those queen cells emerge you will need to take action. This forum can help you one step at a time. Use the search window to find topics you are unsure of. There is a massive amount of info on this site and users who are willing to help.

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Thank you very much for the guidance John!

This site is great and the users are awesome!:grinning:

Or build a nuc box in 20 minutes: http://s196.photobucket.com/user/Drew454/library/Nuc%20plans?sort=3&page=1


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Thank you for the plans!


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