While away for 2 days our only hive was reported to have a large swarm of bees leave. The hive is just 2 years and it has been a good season. We are new to beekeeping and unsure what to do to ensure the remaining health of the hive. The swarm is long gone it was located on a large property. Thanks in advance for advice ML
There isnt much to be done about the swarm that is gine now obviously.
It would be advisable to check your hive and make sure they either dont have too much room or that they arent still crowded. You will probably see opened queen cells as they would normally have hatched a day or two after the swarm leaves. It is possible to get a secondary swarm and making sure they have room to expand should help to avoid this.
I hope this helps.
In a week or two new queen should be laying. At that time check for eggs. Being swarm season there I recommend putting out a few swarm boxes. You’re bound to catch a few. If your hive’s virgin queen does not make it back you do not have any eggs to give them. With 2 or 3 hives those resources would be available.
Hopefully the colony will make a new queen themselves, after 2 weeks check for new eggs or wait an extra couple of days and look for larvae that will be easier to see.
While you are doing the inspection look for the hive being over crowded.
I see a lot of merit in having a minimum of two hives so that you can move a frame of young brood into a queenless hive so it can make a new queen. It only needs a little extra time to care for a second hive as you will quickly become more proficient and all ready be suited up.
It is swarming season and a two year old queen can leave with a swarm where as a 1 year old queen in a hive there is a reduced risk of swarming. You should also consider a hive can swarm more than once in a Spring so you should consider making up a second hive and doing a split of the hive you have.
Thanks everyone for the prompt advice. Am I right in thinking it is fine for the hive to re queen itself rather than purchase a queen from a specialist service?
The new queen emerges shortly after swam occurs. You probably have a queen. She just needed the time to develop, mate and get up to speed. Probably around 2 weeks from emerging.
You have no reason to buy a queen if the colony has made one themselves which is preferable to installing a bought queen. The new queen should be laying about 2 weeks after the swarming happened, I would give it an extra 3 days so you will easily see the larvae.
Thanks Peter48 I will keep a close eye on them