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Caught a Swarm/Queen Good?


#1

I caught a swarm a couple of weeks ago. We have located the queen. No larva yet. How long should I wait before we boot her out. Not too many bees. I brought in a frame of brood from a strong hive. Good idea?

Thanks

Dale


#2

Excellent idea.

If she is a virgin queen, which is more likely with a small swarm, you may have to wait for several weeks. How long will depend on weather, and the availability of drones in your area at this time of year. Does your strong hive have many drones yet? Our hive here in SoCal doesn’t have many drones at all, and not many drone cells either. If there are not many drones around, she may not get well-mated, and that will make it hard for the swarm to survive.

Do you have a mated queen available? If not, you might consider merging the swarm with your existing hive.


#3

Hi Dale, it’s a great idea to introduce that frame of brood. Particularly if that frame has brood in all stages. I’m thinking that there should be a few drones around, otherwise the hive wouldn’t swarm. You could follow up with another frame of brood in 7-10 days. Keep on doing that until the weak hive becomes as strong as the strong hive if you want to.

Don’t even look for the queen (I know you will:)). It will just happen. Every time you introduce a new frame of brood, just slip it in between the frames with the most activity.

That strategy will help in preventing the strong hive from swarming. If there are swarms around, it’s possible that your strong hive could be thinking about it also.


#4

I have not seen many/any drones. Great input Dawn. The only available queens this time of year are,apparently, in Hawaii. Im sure it is a chunk to get her here but I will look into it. Otherwise we are taling April. Too late!!

If I were to decided to merge the hives how would I do that?

Thank You

Dale


#5

Thank Jeff. You say the queen “will just happen.” What is meant by that?


#6

@daleknott You will have to find the queen from the swarm hive and capture her. Then place newspaper between the box on your strong hive and your weak hive. Poke a few holes in the paper and the bees will do the rest. You can then kill the old queen.


#7

Exactly what @John_Yeager said. :blush: I use 2 flat sheets of newspaper between the boxes - strong hive box underneath and weak/swarm box on top. The bees will chew through the paper in less than 3 days. By “old queen” John is referring to the swarm queen in your case. :wink:


#8

Very good. Then take the deep back off that the swarm was in?


#9

Exactly right, unless the lower box is now overcrowded! :smile: But in that case, you would probably want to switch in the Flow super anyways.


#10

G’day Dale, if you keep placing a frame of brood into a weak colony every 7-10 days, it doesn’t matter whether the colony has a queen or not. It is inevitable that the colony will make a queen if it doesn’t already have one. You just need to make sure that there is worker eggs or very young worker larvae in those frames.

It is easy to place that frame, just move the frames across until you get to the middle of the bee mass & slip it in. Then move the other frames back.


#11

Dawn I put the bee escape on last night!! Pretty excited to watch it work!!

Dale


#12

Hi Dawn. Hope you are good. I placed the bee escape on and waited more than 48 hours. The bees had not moved out of the medium as hoped. I neglected to ask exactly how the escape works. I know the idea is the bees move down into the deep and that they are unable to move back up. The weather since I put it on has been breezy and cool. So, can I assume the bees move down when there is warm weather, lots of activity and foraging and otherwise they stay put? Thus still in the medium? Thanks. Dale


#13

They may well not move much in cooler weather, sorry yes, I should have mentioned that. One other thing, it is important to put it on the correct side up… :blush: With that model, it means the mesh/maze side should be facing down towards the bottom board. :wink:


#14

You are so diplomatic,Dawn!! I do have the screen down!! But it certainly isnt beyond me to get it wrong. 80F today so maybe we will get there!! I assume it doesnt matter how long it is on!! Thanks again Dawn!!


#15

Hey Dale, you’ve got nothing on me - I only just realized that the slice of cake next to your name means it’s your birthday! Cheers :rainbow::honeybee:


#16

Actually it can. I wouldn’t leave it on for longer than about 5 days for the following reasons:

  1. They can gum it up with propolis, to the extent that it totally blocks. It is very hard to get propolis off the escapes. :cold_sweat:
  2. Some bees seem to be able to learn to navigate back through the escape. Especially if they are small bees. Once they have learned, it is pointless leaving it on.