My first swarm of one hive

Very interesting. Inspected the hives on the 18th December.
All looked good. The queen was spotted.
Egg, larva and capped brood.

No queen cells. All looked fine.

Coming home this morning, my partner saw a large swarm heading up the street.
She thought they were bees.
I inspected her hive and yes, her bees swarmed.

There were a number of queen cells, some capped.
Some not. It was only 20 days.

We thought of doing a walk away split but decided to let them re-establish.

What is the time period to reinspect? 14 days?

Hi Daz, whenever I look into the brood box this time of year because the colony looks rather strong, I always split it one way or another. I’ll generally find full frames of sealed brood, which only indicates one thing, a further increase in population, which can possibly trigger a swarm.

I try to encourage Flow owners to leave the hole in the crown board open, so as to accommodate a population increase into the roof. Then I suggest to lift the roof once a fortnight to monitor the population, which also means that any comb in the roof will only have just begun. The bees wont get a chance to fill it right up.

To answer your question: I would wait 3-4 weeks before checking to see if the new queen got successfully mated, on account that new queens are vulnerably to getting balled & killed. Only look briefly for sealed worker brood, not the queen herself.

HI Jeff, thanks for that.
Good idea with the Roof, i’ll try that.

I’m going to check the other Hive this morning to see if they have any swam cells.

Let you know.

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Yes very full.
BIAS so took 3 frames. put them in the NUC.
Gave the 3 free frames to the hive.

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Does “free frames” mean “foundationless”? If so, be careful that the bees don’t build more drone comb than you really want. Drones do no defending, which includes hive beetles. They wont stop beetles from laying eggs, while workers are a bit scarce in any particular area of the brood, on account of overcrowding by drones.

Hi Jeff. No by Free I mean not used. They are wax foundation frames.

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Well done Daz, they would be “wax foundation frames”, otherwise they’d probably be called “drawn comb frames”, or something similar, in the case of used frames.

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