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Caught a swarm, did we do the right thing?


#1

Hello everyone,

Yesterday, a great part of the colony we acquire and put into our hive (of 8 brood box frames) a little less than 3 weeks ago, “left the building” and was swarming.

We were able to capture the swarm in a new brood box. We took out one honey frame from the old hive and put it in the new hive (we placed a new frame with wax foundation in the old hive). All other 9 frames in the new hive are new frames with wax foundation. At night, when all swarmed bees seemed to have entered the new hive, we moved it some 100 meters and placed it on the spot where we want to have the new hive.

We did not put a honey box with frames with wax foundation on top of the new hive, figuring that they have more than enough empty frames for them to work on.

From the old hive (hive 1), we took off the honey box (the flow frames), figuring that the fairy decreased number of bees in the left-over colony might have trouble keeping the hive with honey box on top warm enough.

Today, hive 1 acts normal.
At the new hive (hive 2), there are quite a bit of bees sort of circling the hive, but other bees seem to be collecting nectar (no pollen) and there are several bees on the landing board sending the “this is our home-spot gather here”-scent around. Also, I found bees circling the place where they settled down after the swarming, from where we took them, yesterday. This has me concerned a bit.

The questions that I now have:
a) Do we put a honey box on top of the new hive (hive 2) with the swarmed bees?
b) We don’t have old wax frames with cells on them already. Do we need to put in a frame with brood from hive 1 into hive 2?
c) Do we keep the honey box (with -so far- by the bees unused flow frames) off of the old hive (hive 1) which now has a small colony left over?
d) Might the circling around the new hive AND around the swarming-spot from yesterday (some 100 meters away) mean they are preparing to swarm again?
e) Do we need to feed the new hive next to the (half-full) honey frame we put in there?

Thanks! :slight_smile:


#2

(B.t.w. back ground info: were are in France, it is spring, the weather has been pretty cold at night the last week or so, but with several sunny days. We got our first colony on 6 frames and did an inspection about 1,5 weeks ago (movie of this and our set-up here: http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/video-first-spring-inspection-in-1st-colony-in-france/6727).)


#3

Swarms generally have nothing but the honey they can carry. Granted they fail often enough, mostly by starving, but any resources are a head start. The bottom line is there probably is no perfect solution. All in all I would probably split the resources between the two in theory, but at this point there may be a virgin running around in the swarmed hive and I’d be afraid of accidently putting her in the swarm hive. So I would probably just leave them alone. There are things blooming by now right? If you really want to, a frame of capped honey isn’t going to hurt the new swarm hive and you could shake off all the bees to make sure you don’t get a queen…


#4

Thanks for the reply, Michael.

Alas, some time today, the bees must have swarmed again, because I just found out the new hive was all but empty.

I looked around to see if I might find them again, but to no avail.

Luckily, yesterday a beekeeper in the neighborhood asked if we wanted one of his colonies.

(I’m guessing we won’t be able to harvest much honey this year).