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Can a 5 week old hive swarm?

Hi all,
Despite our best efforts to avoid it, our Hive swarmed about 5 weeks ago. We caught the Swarm and put it in a brand new brood box with 8 new frames of foundation, it has since had a flow super added to it.
There has been a population explosion in that Hive. We know that the queen lays like the future of bees depends on her, because she is our original queen.

My question is, can a hive that was a brand newly caught primary swarm 5 weeks ago Swarm?
My guess is the answer to that question is no they shouldn’t, unless they do.
Cheers
Ron

Hi Ron, I believe they could swarm. If the conditions are right, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t swarm. We have to bare in mind that swarming is how bees reproduce.

Jack @Semaphore recently posted that he’s receiving, from memory 10 calls a day about swarms.

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Thanks Jeff, I’ll be very unhappy if they go again. Already had two swarms despite out best efforts.
Split early and split often next spring.
I can’t go thru this again.

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You’ll get more honey if you manage swarming.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm

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Hi Ron, it gets easier the more you do it. You can stop bees from swarming if you go about it in the right manner. Split before they start preparing to swarm & take the brood frames with the most sealed brood. Then take that split away so no bees return. Be prepared for the split to explode in population because one full frame of sealed brood will hold 3 frames of bees.

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This is golden information, that most beekeepers don’t think about. Fabulous stuff @JeffH. A full Langstroth deep frame of brood will have around 3,000 (max 3,500) brood per side. A full frame of bees (so many that you can’t see the comb underneath them) will have about 1,000 bees per side. So they can explode their population very quickly - be alert!

The other thing to remember when making a split is not to shake off all of the nurse bees. The brood needs warming (if capped) and feeding (if uncapped) and the nurse bees do that. Foragers will go back to the original hive site, if it is not too far. Nurse bees will stay with the brood, and the split needs them, plus some food stores until they have bees old enough to forage.

Fascinating stuff, this bee civilization. :blush:

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Yes, it’s important to understand the timeframe of things. If a colony is starting from scratch (like a swarm or a package) it’s three weeks minimum before any of the new bees are emerging. The population won’t seem to be increasing at first because it’s not. But then once you have a lot of capped brood emerging the population is quickly doubling. Often a hive swarms and the beekeeper never notices because there are so many emerging bees that in a few days the population doesn’t look that different. Also this plays into judging a queen. A queen can’t increase the population until her bees are emerging, nor can the bees raise the eggs she lays unless there are enough workers to do the work. So a small colony struggles. A large colony can raise a large quantity of brood. A small colony cannot. Queens in general can lay as much brood as the colony can care for.

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We’ve left the new Hive alone for two weeks, but we’re going to have a look in there this weekend. I don’t think there are too many in there, the window on the flow hive isn’t full, but the centre frames seem to be very full.

Our main concern was the original hive, which despite us, or perhaps to spite us, threw off 2 swarms. We thought it may have been queenless for a while, but last week we found some new drone cells and a smattering of larvae in a similar pattern to the drone cells. So I assume we have a laying queen. There was half a dozen Queen sells last weekend which we knocked out, so hopefully everything is ok in there now. Will go in again on Saturday and have another look.
Cheers
Ron

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If the colony has enough room to expand then they shouldn’t get the urge to swarm Ron. But it seems to be a problem you have had with that hive for some time so just a thought that it might be in the queen’s genes for that instinct to be stronger than normal. Just a thought.
Cheers

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Nice to see you back Peter…

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If you feed a swarm or a package constantly they often backfill the brood nest and this often sets off swarming in a small colony that isn’t even established yet.