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After Swarms Happen


One of my hives threw an after swarm,
Got it though :slight_smile:

I Inspected the parent colony today and I think they are queenless. I’ll give them a few more days and then if I have to, I’ll combine them with a strong hive.


This is the colony that afterswarmed?
What makes you think they are Q- ?
The afterswarm would have contained a virgin queen and it is highly unlikely they would have cast that swarm without leaving another virgin behind to continue the colony


What Dee said…


Are those wood frames painted white?


The colony that cast the afterswarm appeared to be queenless - yes, I know a virgin queen should have been left behind, I just could not find her for the life of me.

I will wait the requisite time frame for her (if she’s there) to get mated and start laying.


No @Michael_Bush :slight_smile: , they are just brand new. Also the light was low so I assume the camera was lightening things up a bit to compensate.


Look likes they may be painted to me also


A virgin queen is almost impossible to find. She is fast and flighty and hides and she’s usually not full size yet. She also won’t be laying for some time after a primary swarm.


If a hive just swarmed today, how long before the new queen is laying? Assuming this was the primary swarm, it usually leaves the day the first queen cell gets capped. So that means a new queen will emerge in 8 days. That queen may leave with another swarm or the workers may allow her to kill all the others and stay. Assuming she kills all the others (which are staggered in age, so they will emerge at different times if they do afterswarm) then she should be laying most likely two weeks after she emerged which is three weeks after they swarmed. So that’s about three weeks give or take a week. (two to four weeks). Drop dead date is 29 days after the swarm.


Do you mean the queen is unable to get mated after that date?
That’s not what I found. Weather is often bad here in the uk and queens were getting mated six weeks after emergence some years


Another great video, Bobby - thank you for sharing it :rainbow:

I especially like the pole-bucket. My instructor gets package bees from Georgia & told us “everyone”’ there has a shotgun, and uses them for many purposes, including shooting branches off trees to get swarms down. I applaud your restraint and ingenuity :smile:


Thank you.

And yes, I have a shotgun :slight_smile:


According to Huber and common experience a queen can mate at any age, but if she mates more then 21 days after emergence she ends up being a drone layer. If she never mates, she never lays. Perhaps there is some genetic differences as to the length, but if she’s not laying in 21 days I write her off and start over.


I think she might lay drones
How else do bee breeders practice selfing…Instrumentally inseminating a virgin queen with her own drones?

Many publications say that is because the vagina thickens and she cannot mate.
In practice it is often enough not the case to be of note