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First Adelaide swarm of the year- a beautiful thing


from catching so many swarms last year I came to a few conclusions: First- Most swarms are low down- at least in suburbia- 9 out of 10 are easily accessed in my experience. The swarm I caught the other day was suburban- but there were many large eucalypts all about- and forests nearby- but the swarm was low down in a bush.

Second- of 15 swarms I caught last year 12 of them were on either:

  1. Citrus Tree
  2. Rose Bush
  3. Near lemongrass

so if you wanted to make the ultimate swarm attracting garden you would have a citrus tree with a rose bush beside it and planted with lemongrass around. Most swarms seem to land pretty near the mother hive so if you have an apiary having the swarm plants nearby may give you a good chance of catching your own swarms easily.

I wonder if dabbing a little lemongrass oil on a branch near a hive may act like having the pheromone on it? I guess you could hang a little jar with a few holes in the lid and a cloth with lemongrass oil inside from a branch?

@Peter48 yes- no doubt it was the queen pheremones on the bush that attracted the second swarm- still I find it surprising that they work so well over that large a distance- the queen just hones right onto them. That’s amazing if those pheromones can survive an entire year of exposure to weather?


Maybe the pheromones don’t last a year but the branch still attracts the bees looking for a short term location to cluster.


Interesting thought. I saw a video by Tom Seeley (famous bee researcher) some time ago. He applied Drone Congregation Area (DCA) pheromones to the top of the mast of sailing ship. Several years after the experiment was over (on a remote island somewhere), drones still kept coming back to the boat mast and looking lustfully at the skies. :blush: True story, I am not kidding this time. :heart_eyes:


Named Pooh I suspect. He was very fond of honey.
Great photo.
Edit: Turned brown stuff into a bear.:grinning:


I think Winnie the Pooh probably liked honey more. :heart_eyes: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :rofl:

I agree that the photo is epic in quality and content. :blush:


Oh I just hate it when you correct my mistakes after I try to be funny.
:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :wink:


You are very funny. Plus maybe Poo is the Aussie version. What do I know as a Whinging Pom? :smile:


Jack, recently used bee boxes work well. Yesterday afternoon I arrived at my bee sight to find a swarm on 2 empty bee boxes. One box was sitting on the roof of a hive. The 2nd box was sitting inside it on it’s end. With the aid of a frame of brood, I got the swarm to stay in the first box, using the hive’s roof as a bottom board.

This afternoon I arrived to find another swarm sitting inside the second box. The fourth swarm within the past week. The first 2 were on low bushes.


I have always regarded every word from you as from a very serious person :joy:
I have a question that may be able to be answered, Will a virgin queen mate with drones from her own hive? I have both yes and no but not found written.
May the good banter continue :heart_eyes:


Were these swarms from your hives Jeff? Even after all your splits?


Only if she has no choice. For example if the hive is more than 10 miles from any other hives. Apparently queen mating flights are often to a location over 3 km from the hive, whereas most drones will find a DCA 1.5 km from home. This information is based on research done by Dr Orley Taylor in Kansas.

So unless the virgin queen accidentally flies through the DCA where her brothers are hanging out, she prefers to be further away when mating.


Hi Jack, yes they were from my hives. They are coming, I suspect from the colonies that are making emergency queens. I started removing the youngest queens with the splits so I had colonies to sell with young queens. I suspected that a lot of swarms would issue with the first virgin queens to emerge. These are all emergency queens that under normal circumstances, from my experience don’t normally swarm.

It IS an unbelievable extraordinary spring we are currently experiencing up here. I’m up early today in readiness to extract 9 supers of honey. I did 8.5 last Sunday. I’ll be robbing again next week.

I have a couple of constant ear worm songs in my head while working my bees. One is “love is in the air”, another one is “let me tell you about the birds & the bees”


just 3 weeks later and the entire Nuc has been filled out- all 5 frames. Just today I transferred them into an 8 frame box- already bees were emerging which means the queen must have been laying eggs within just 2 or 3 days after the swarm was caught! queen seems to be a ripper- as she has laid all frames entirely with perfect brood. Not a drone to be seen yet- just swathes of capped workers. No real signs of aggression either which is reassuring. At this rate they should have filled that out within 16 days at a guess.