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Joestie

NZBF Caught a swarm now what!

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My bees swarmed today and I was lucky enough to be home to catch them. I’m unsure what to do next though! Few questions below:

 

1. Should I add some full brood frames from the last hive? If so, when should I do this?

2. The queen is already a few years old, how long would you wait to replace her?

3.can I place the swarm hive next to the old hive or is this confusing for the bees?

4. When’s a good time frame to expect the new queen to start laying?

 

thanks in advance for the advice

 

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Well done on the capture:

 

1.  No, do not add brood.  The bees are already to start there own hive.

2.  Replace the queen before the end of February.

3. Yes, Any location is good.

4.   The swarm queen should be laying in about 4 days. (check for eggs)

5.  The hive that swarmed could be 2 weeks to lay.  leave it alone for 3 weeks.

6.  Only put the swarm on raw foundation.  But not so important if it your own hive that swarmed.

 

Best wishes.

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Thank you! That’s awesome advice, hopefully it all works out 🤞

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20 minutes ago, Joestie said:

Thank you! That’s awesome advice, hopefully it all works out 🤞

Bees GPS homing device  disappears when they swarm and they reset .

You can put your swarm hive right next to the original and there will be no confusion 

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Also check original hive for Queen Cells.

Destroy all except one or you may have further swarms emerge as Queens emerge from Queen cells.

 

 

 

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Indeed, check the mother hive for additional swarm cells.

Sometimes a colony will control the emergence of queens and send out several swarms with virgin queens after the initial swarm with the mother queen.

Last spring a swarm we collected, within two months had produced a number of swarms with the consequence that all that was left was some honey,  and just a hand full of bees without a queen. They left behind three frames with two, three, and two queen cells chewed out at the end as evidence of emerging virgins.

(When a queen emerges and destroys other queens, the cells are chewed open mid way up the side)

I'm GLAD that colony swarmed away. I don't want swarmy bees in our yard. Not good for the beekeeper, but perhaps useful for local adaptation in the neighborhood.

 

If when inspecting, a colony has swarm cells on multiple frames, that's a crisis and an opportunity dumping many choices in the lap of the beekeeper.

If the queen cells are in a frame with wax foundation, or foundationless frame, then each queen cell can be cut out and relocated to a hive that needs it for requeening, or to replace a faulty queen, or to a queenless hive to reboot it.    (or pairs or threes if they can't be separated)

Queen cells on plastic foundation leave you with two options.

o Move a frame with a couple of queen cells to a nuc and give it a frame with food, another frame with larva and pupa, and a drawn frame.  Give them plenty of house bees to cover the larva and pupa and move it across the yard or to another yard. Make sure none of those frames has a queen or virgin queen on it.

Field bees will return to the mother hive, so after an hour, make sure the nuc still has enough bees. Add more if necessary but NOT a queen!!!

o Sometimes the bees float the egg out from the foundation. Those cells can't be cut from the foundation. Queen cells that are built on the foundation and sealed at the back can be cut from the foundation and relocated into hives that need them.

† Make sure the mother colony has two or three queen cells so it won't end up queenless.

 

A colony with a faulty queen can be requeened by pinching the mother queen and placing a queen cell in the wax or trapping it between frames.

Faulty might be drone layer or non-layer, or prone to chalkbrood, or just too many years old.

 

DON'T FLIP FRAMES UPSIDE-DOWN IF THEY HAVE CAPPED QUEEN CELLS ON THEM.  Between Day 11 and  Day 14 the queen larva is SUPER fragile. Thumping the frame or flipping it over will damage the queen. They're pretty safe on day 10 and after day 14. 

 

Finally, Set up some empty equipment in or near the bee yard as a Bait-Hive/Swarm-Trap to attract swarms out of your yard.
This is strong advice for the urban beekeeper. It'll save the neighborhood from some panic. It might even attract some free bees.

We can learn a lot from Tom Seeley's book Honeybee Democracy.  A single deep box with a frame of brood comb, and a lot of empty space makes a good bait hive. A small entrance makes it more attractive. Place the bait hive in shade or mostly shade. On a hive stand is OK but 2 to 3 meters off the ground may be a tad better.

 

That's my 2¢

Jerry - Oakland ca

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