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Requeening a swarm


#1

Its the old queen that will swarm. Right? If I collect a swarm therefore I’m getting an older less productive queen/hive? If thats the case should I then requeen it with a young queen?


#2

Wouldn’t it be nice if life was simple and something was always true? :blush:

That is usually correct for a primary swarm. However, if the old queen can’t fly, and new virgins have hatched, the swarm may have a virgin queen. In fact, Hilary Kearney of www.girlnextdoorhoney.com has video footage of a monster swarm with many queens in it. Most of the queens were being balled (killed) by bees in the swarm, in little tennis ball sized clusters. Those queens would likely have been virgins.

So with a swarm, you never can tell. Sorry. :wink: Best thing is to put it in a hive, and inspect for a good laying pattern after a few weeks.


#3

Exactly.
There may be genes the bees have that would be useful.
If the queen is too old for the colony the bees will supersede her anyway
I love swarms. I love waiting to see what they will become. It’s very exciting. But then I am easily pleased.


#4

I’ll take those old swarm queens any day of the week. They’ve demonstrated their ability to build up a hive large enough to reach swarm status :slight_smile:
I’d leave them alone and see how they do for several weeks.


#5

Its the old queen that will swarm. Right?

The first swarm, yes, subsequent swarms no.

If I collect a swarm therefore I’m getting an older less productive queen/hive?

Why would they swarm if she is not productive? They have to be successful to swarm.

If thats the case should I then requeen it with a young queen?

I would not.