My bees have swarmed 2 times now. Yesterday I was able to catch the queen and put her back in the hive and all of the bees returned to the hive. Then again today I watched them shoot out of the hive and start swarming in my back yard. They decided to settle down for the evening in my garden under some broccoli. What do I do?
when I have a hive that has just swarmed I immediately open it up and go through the entire brood box. I look for all the queen cells and destroy them all except for 1 or 2. If I see a newly emerged virgin queen I destroy all queen cells. This stops the hive sending out secondary swarms (which is what your hive has done). It’s important to leave the hive alone while it requeens- but then to check later to make sure they have successful requeened.
If a hive population is really low after several swarms I might remove excess supers- or in extreme case condense the hive down into a nuc box until it builds back up again. Some hives barely skip a beat when they swarm early in spring- other hives can be really set back for that entire year and may end up queeenless and failing.
If that swarm is still near your broccoli- get a nuc box and catch it (if it is a huge swarm you might need a bigger box). Put on your suit and just get those bees into the box with new frames. Have a look on youtube at some swarm catching videos if you are new to it. It’s quite easy most times.
If you just put them back in the original hive they will simply swarm again. And they may well swarm again after that as new queens emerge. Sometimes a hive can swarm 3 or 4 times over a week or two.
So catch that swarm- keep it near the original hive. If the original hive fails in producing a good new queen you can recombien them later in the season. Or keep the second hive- or sell it. But also go through the original one: you will quite likely find many queen cells inside…
Thanks I will do what i can!