I have a hive that has just swarmed 3 times in 4days! This hive was started from a caught swarm 2 months ago and was going really well I had put on a second box 3 weeks ago because they had it 70-80% full on all 10 frames and had heaps of bees. 4 days ago they swarmed and landed high in a tree in my back yard but 2 hours after settling they returned to the hive. They swarmed again the next morning this time when they landed they spit into 2 areas? both in next doors garden, one on a tree the other behind a lattice fence. I caught the swarm in the tree and placed into a new hive, the bees on the fence took to the air why we got the others in the new box and some joined the new box some returned to the original hive. The following day all was well new hive had bees coming and going and so did the old hive, then to my surprise today the old hive swarmed again for the 3rd time and still a decent size of bees? They landed in next door again and lucky my dad had a spare hive so I placed them in that. Has anyone had this happen before? or have any ideas what was going on with them? I did a quick check of the 1st box with caught swarm to see if they are all still in it and yes it still has a decent cluster.I have no idea what is going on, could both the swarms have a queen or will one be queenless?
I think the first action is to look in the first hive, check for queen cells, then you can decide on next step. I would hope you also find a number of frames of brood. Maybe some young and uncapped. Check also on food and pollen stores. Maybe you will find a queen.
Next I would check the new hive. Need to find the queen. That’s important. That will decide your action required in that hive.
Note down what you found and date it. Dates may become important.
Hope that helps for starters.
Hiya @HayleysHoney I think Tony’s advice is solid and I’d only throw in my speculation that you saw your primary swarm doing a practice run, which they’re known to do before returning to the hive. Then when they left again I suspect they were closely followed by a secondary swarm - the one you caught and put into the new box, where they seem happy to stay. Here’s where Tony’s advice becomes especially key: date this group went into their new home, and date your primary swarm left so you can track the mating progress of these two resident queens as they will be virgins, the old mated queen having taken flight in the primary swarm. Then there’s a third and maybe a fourth coming, which is why Tony said to check for more QCs which you can use to make preemptive splits…otherwise a colony can swarm itself into nonexistence, as @Dawn_SD says .
Good job with such a bustling bee yard!
Thanks Eva. I was hoping someone would add some really good detail. And you did just that.
The others answered your questions beautifully. My advice would be to make sure that beetles can’t lay eggs in any combs that the remaining colony can’t protect. That is: If there is only enough bees to cover half the frames, make sure the other half of the frames don’t contain brood or pollen. Also be careful not to leave any trapped bees between frames. Beetles will lay eggs in them.
Thanks so much for all your advice, I checked the original hive and found a queen (I couldn’t mark her as I couldn’t catch her, I did catch her once in the clip queen cage but it must not have closed correctly and she got out straight back into the frames “still need some practice at that”). I found lots of queen cells, 7 empty and 3 capped that I removed from the hive. Fingers crossed they stay put and thrive now and that the 2 new hives created by the swarming also do well, they sure are busy today in this beautiful weather.
Hi Hayley, Can I ask where are you located on the “Central coast?”… I also live on the central coast Toukley and have just setted up my Flow hive, I don’t have bees as yet… Would love to chat with you and ask questions if OK with you?
0410 645 583
Hi @Ria Im also at Toukley yes absolutely, I’m no expert I’ve been helping my dad with his hive for 2 years and have read lots and lots but only just started my own hive not long ago from a swarm I caught. Im happy for you to come round and check out the hives with me anytime, ill be going into them regularly at this time of year so you can come and see them one day soon if your free.
Hi Hayley, thank you so much, are you able to contact me asap…please I’m about to purchase this nuc on Tues but would love some advice.
0410 645 583 or if you can txt me your number and I’m able to call. Thanks Again
I’m also free Tuesday morning 9.30-10am if that suits you?
0410 645 583