So today I went outside to find a small swarm on a garden post (see pic). I wanted to ask a couple questions. When a hive swarms is the new queen already getting ready to start laying? The reason I ask is because when I looked in the hive I couldn’t see any swarm cells or queen cells. Plus I didn’t see the queen! I will admit though it was 100F degrees out and I was sweating like a pig so I may have missed her. Second question… the swarm was super small is it too small to survive? Should I add more frames of capped brood to the box to up the numbers? As always thanks for any advice!!
Normally when a hive swarms, it’s before the new queen has emerged, so therefore she wouldn’t be ready to start laying for another 10+ days.
I would only give that small swarm a frame with only half brood, preferably emerging brood, plus a few eggs, just in case the swarm is queenless. If you give them too much brood all at once, they wont be able to stop beetles from laying eggs. After 10 days, the numbers will have increased, then give them more brood & so on. Basically let the bee numbers dictate how much brood to give them. cheers
Thanks for the advice! I did see the old queen in the swarm ball so I do know she made it to the new box just not sure about the old hive so I may end up putting a frame of eggs in that one
I wonder why the hive swarmed, maybe from over crowding? If you don’t fix the problem then you might have regular swarms happening and neither you or your neighbors want that.
If your not sure of the cause you might get help and advice from an experienced local bee keeper or group.
I agree with Jeff’s advice.
Are you certain it is from your hive? Could it have come from another source?
JeffH’s advice is good. Just add enough brood that they can keep warm and the older the better.