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Are they practicing to swarm

I have now had my bees for 9 months. We all survived the winter.
Been feeding 2:1 sugar syrup until the bees lost interest.
That was during the first week of September.
That was also the time that I installed the flow super. I did the usual prep by rubbing bees wax over the flow frames.
The bees certainly wasted no time to prepare the cells and honey has been deposited in around 50% of the flow frames but no capping yet.
During the last 1.5 months the colony has expanded 3 fold and doing great.
One thing concerns me, during the past couple of days the bees are forming a small beard under the landing board. the temperature has been around 25-29c by mid afternoon.
Are the bees just practicing to swarm ??


Any suggestions would be welcome.
Sorry, the pic is a bit out of focus. Cheers, G

Hi George, well done on making it through winter.

Since Perth has mild winters bee will continue to forage. The bee population is also small. The result is honey and pollen bound frames. As room runs out may trigger the bees to find new home - swarm.

The only way to confirm swarm intentions is to inspect your brood box.

If it’s honey bound refresh with new foundation.

If you find swarm cells. Swarming is immanent.

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That is bearding and the common cause can be the inside temperature of the hive with all the bees in it is too hot. The other common cause is that there is simply not enough room for the number of bees in the colony. As it is only Spring and hotter weather to come if the bearding is heat related it will get worse as Summer sets in.
There are thing you can do to lower the hives temperature well worth doing. If you can do a temperature check of inside the hive you will find it way hotter than the ambient outside. Bees like the cluster temp at about 34C.
I’m not seeing a sign of swarming in that pic
Cheers George

Thanks Fred, I will do an inspection tomorrow, Sunday.
Looks like a good day for it.
Cheers, G

Hi Peter, thanks for your detailed reply, I always look forward to your replies on this forum, learn a lot.
I will do an inspection tomorrow, Sunday.
It is going to be a warm day, around 29c.
Thanks again, Cheers, G

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Pete, what do you look for if you don’t mind elaborating.

The other day I saw a bunch of bees out the front having a ‘chin wag’. I reckon they were talking about swarming… had I not looked in the box the following day to discover swarm cells I reckon they would have swarmed today bease of the beautiful weather we had.

Swarm season is full steam in Perth at the moment.

I rode past this beautiful one today. Pity I was in my bicycle… otherwise I would have homed them:

When I see a lot of bees, and I mean a lot of them moving about a lot outside the hive then that can be just one sign of a hive that is making to swarm. Seeing that I then do a full inspection to see if the colony is too big for the hive, take into account recent weather, comb building where it shouldn’t be, queen cells being made and the recent history of the hive going back two or three months. The idea is to get an overall picture about the hive then I can take an educated assessment about if the hive needs a split taken to prevent swarming.
When a colony decides to swarm it is not a spur of the moment decision and being at my apiaries almost daily is a big benefit. If all the hives are bearding and it is a hot day then the cause is obvious, but if it is just one hive then it needs checking as to why.
Hope that answers you question Fred.
Cheers

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