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White Eyed Drone

NZBF 2 swarms or 1?, and is it likely they came from elsewhere?.

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I found 2 swarms today in my apiary, about 1 m apart, one larger than the other, both low down and on easy to cut branches. I put them into seperate Nuc's. The larger one had an unmarked queen which I caught and transfered to the nuc box before shaking in the bees. I'm not sure whether the second swarm had a queen. A few hours on, both seem happy in the nuc boxes.

 

My first swarm captures ?

 

Swarms top left (ball), bottom right (along branch). 

IMG_0310.PNG.feb84df133a17a08469eda8957ee1415.PNG

 

823227375_IMG_0301small.jpg.0ddcae501a4bb8215a70e8109e59ea73.jpg

 

Q1) Would the swarms likely be from the same hive, or separate?.

 

Q2) is it likely that the swarm(s) came from elsewhere - not my apiary?. 

 

With both swarms being on the edge of my apiary, I naturally thought that they were swarms from one or two of my hives. 

I can think I have alabi's for each hive. I have:

1) 1 x FD with autumn (marked) queen laying well - so the larger swarm was not from that queen. 

2) 1 x FD which had 12 Queen cells a week or two ago - I kept 2 in the hive, created a few 2 frame splits in my queen castle, and removed the rest. 1 or both queens would have emerged a week ago. Although I'm leaving them to themselves for now, I had a quick peak today and there are loads of bees and stores in the hive, similar to when i checked two weeks ago. So I don't think the volume of bees could come from that hive.

QC) Queen castle with 4 x 2 frame splits 2 have new laying queens, 2 had queen cells, will leave for a few weeks before knowing if they are queen right. Had too few bees to be either swarm, and entrance activity is similar to the last few weeks. 

Nuc 1) An early spring split, queen laying well, still with the same amount of bees.

 

As always, thoughts and advice much appreciated...

 

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6 minutes ago, White Eyed Drone said:

Q1) Would the swarms likely be from the same hive, or separate?

Almost certainly from same hive.

 

7 minutes ago, White Eyed Drone said:

Q2) is it likely that the swarm(s) came from elsewhere - not my apiary?. 

It's possible they're from somewhere else  but  I think they're probably yours.  I've never seen a double swarm distant from a bunch of hives.  In the photo they don't look like big swarms, so they've probably got virgin Qs.

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I’m also thinking from the same hive, I thought I’d open up both nucs to put feeders in ahead of moving to new locations tonight.  No bees in one of them, so I’m guessing that being in two very close locations on the tree was just dopue to space. If we’re on the branch with the queen would be too heavy?

 

this being the first swarm that I’ve seen, I have no real judgement yet for the size of a swarm, so whether large, small etc.  good fun though (even if catching my own)...

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22 minutes ago, White Eyed Drone said:

If we’re on the branch with the queen would be too heavy?

Very hard to say !

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24 minutes ago, White Eyed Drone said:

I have no real judgement yet for the size of a swarm, so whether large, small etc.

A small one would fill say two fd frames, a large one close to a full box, the usual one about 4-5 frames.

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Thx, @yesbut, this seems to be around 3FD, so therefore not impossible to be from my non marked queen hive. I’ll be keen to see for sure over the coming weeks if was from mine or other hives. Collecting experience!

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6 minutes ago, White Eyed Drone said:

Thx, @yesbut, this seems to be around 3FD, so therefore not impossible to be from my non marked queen hive. I’ll be keen to see for sure over the coming weeks if was from mine or other hives. Collecting experience!

Best practice is don’t feed swarms. At least for the first week anyway. They will be loaded with honey which is enough for them to get frame drawing started with and need to purge in case they are carrying AFB spores 

Edited by M4tt
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In my 1st  spring of beeking one of our hives swarmed... I heard and then saw them on the wing. It settled in a tree on the adjacent property. 

When the suspected hive was checked by an experienced beek.. the evidence was there. Nectar stores depleted, a queen cell ripe for the hatching, numerous queen cells present, lots of drones , drone brood and a depleted number of bees left behind. 

Without doubt, that swarm was from that hive. 

Those bees didn’t stay... they’d decided to move house..

All but 1 of the Qcells were culled.in the parent hive.. lesson learnt 

 

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2 hours ago, M4tt said:

Best practice is don’t feed swarms. At least for the first week anyway. They will be loaded with honey which is enough for them to get frame drawing started with and need to purge in case they are carrying AFB spores 

Yeah thanks M4tt, just saw that in another post. Feeder frame in, will hold off on adding syrup. 

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2 hours ago, Beefriendly said:

In my 1st  spring of beeking one of our hives swarmed... I heard and then saw them on the wing. It settled in a tree on the adjacent property. 

When the suspected hive was checked by an experienced beek.. the evidence was there. Nectar stores depleted, a queen cell ripe for the hatching, numerous queen cells present, lots of drones , drone brood and a depleted number of bees left behind. 

Without doubt, that swarm was from that hive. 

Those bees didn’t stay... they’d decided to move house..

All but 1 of the Qcells were culled.in the parent hive.. lesson learnt 

 

Yes @Beefriendly, looking forward to the detective work. Learning is one of the best things about beekeeping, and life...

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