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I caught a swarm one month ago in my camelia tree. I have 4 hives and have been beekeeping only 3 years. I set up a new hive with the swarm and it's done fantastically! What I can't understand is why it is so good if it's the an old queen. I haven't seen so much beautiful working brood in such a short time. 4 or 5 frames+ of solid brood. How come? Do swarms sometimes occur with new queens? ( Not that I am complaining.)

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Please follow the advice of putting every swarm on un-drawn foundation so they use the honey they are carrying to build cells, and do not store AFB spores if the comb is drawn and they just store thei

I don't understand your comment about being better to leave the queen cells. Were they swarm cells (usually along the bottom of the frames) or supersedure cells (on the face of the frame)? Assumi

It is wonderful to see a bee population build up. Its' my favourite part @Philip Allen.

There are several possibilities here, and likely to be several other opinions.

First question to consider is where the swarm came from. Is it from your hives, or is it from another one which may have different genetics ? 

As to your specific question- swarms can come with all sorts of queens- old, new, virgin.

I have learned (and there's no guarantee this is the whole truth) that the prime swarm will leave with the old queen. There may be after-swarms that will leave with virgins or young queens.

You don't say if you gave the swarm foundation or drawn comb. The swarm leaves with full bellies and young bees. They are the wax making & brood rearing bees- hence the apparent vigor.

 

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Thanks for you reply. I think it was from one of my hives that was forming lots of queen cells recently. I destroyed the queen cells trying to stop the swarming. I think I should have left them. I'll look again soon.

I gave the new swarm  good drawn comb, plenty of pollen and honey. All ready to go. Cheers

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3 hours ago, Philip Allen said:

Thanks for you reply. I think it was from one of my hives that was forming lots of queen cells recently. I destroyed the queen cells trying to stop the swarming. I think I should have left them. I'll look again soon.

I don't understand your comment about being better to leave the queen cells. Were they swarm cells (usually along the bottom of the frames) or supersedure cells (on the face of the frame)?

Assuming they were swarm cells, removing them was the correct action- otherwise you risk the hive repeatedly swarming.

Unfortunately stopping a swarm is not as simple as removing the queen cells- unless you are absolutely meticulous and remove every single one. That means hive inspections every 2 weeks- and they are good at hiding swarm cells.

A solution is to split the hive- effectively creating an artificial swarm. At least then you are in control.

 

You gave your swarm premium conditions- and they are making the most of it. I hope they continue to do well.

 

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4 hours ago, Philip Allen said:

Thanks for you reply. I think it was from one of my hives that was forming lots of queen cells recently. I destroyed the queen cells trying to stop the swarming. I think I should have left them. I'll look again soon.

I gave the new swarm  good drawn comb, plenty of pollen and honey. All ready to go. Cheers

 

Please follow the advice of putting every swarm on un-drawn foundation so they use the honey they are carrying to build cells, and do not store AFB spores if the comb is drawn and they just store their honey.  For the same reason, never feed a swarm immediately, and only after at least a week if the weather is too bad for the bees to get out for nectar and pollen.  We had one case of AFB in a swarm which was fed from the beginning.

And treat the swarm for varroa as they can have a high load, and it is wise to re-queen for obvious reasons.

Regards.

 

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