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Author Topic: Loosing 50%?  (Read 2485 times)

Offline max2

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Loosing 50%?
« on: September 20, 2023, 10:22:16 pm »
How often have I read that a swarm will take about 50% of the bees and about the same of honey?

I had a swarm take off minutes before I was about to take honey off a hive.
I said to my wife ( she does a lot of the uncapping/extracting) that I just missed out on 20kg of honey and she suggested that I still have a look at the hive.
To my surprise the honey super was absolutely full with every frame capped.
No doubt the bees took some honey from the single brood box.
I did not count the bees (😀) but there were plenty left.
I wonder where these figures start up?
The figure "50%"  has been repeated many times.
It does not apply in my situation.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Loosing 50%?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2023, 11:30:47 pm »
An interesting point you have made Max. I suppose the size of the swarm would impact on the amount of honey taken. I picked up a small swarm of about 2 cups of bees last season and another one that only just fitted into two boxes. The small swarm was only picked up for a bit of fun. It was the only hive that I?ve given sugar water to for quite a few years and has developed into a beautiful, quiet colony of bees that I use for the observation hive. It would be a bit of a talking point to actually weigh a freshly caught swarm of bees.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Loosing 50%?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2023, 12:24:49 pm »
Quote
"Max2"
I suppose the size of the swarm would impact on the amount of honey taken.

I have wondered the same thing. No doubt they take all they can 'haul out' in departure. It seems they are well supplied and waste not time building new comb soon after arrival at their new location.

Phillip







« Last Edit: September 23, 2023, 07:27:38 am by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online BeeMaster2

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Re: Loosing 50%?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2023, 10:59:03 pm »
Max,
I have had swarms take off from my observation hive, usually the hive builds a large ball of bees at the entrance before they take off. Does not seem to change the amount of bees in the hive. A week later they sometimes do it again with bees that are hatching out. By the third or fourth time there are not enough bees hatching to protect the hive. I have learned to listen for Queens piping when they start to swarm. If I hear them piping, I take the hive apart.
Jim Altmiller
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Loosing 50%?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2023, 09:31:46 am »
I think they take honey that isn't capped first.  Maybe subsequent swarms uncap.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Loosing 50%?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2023, 06:41:51 am »
Sometimes 10% leave.  Sometimes 90% leave...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Loosing 50%?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2023, 07:22:17 am »
Quote
How often have I read that a swarm will take about 50% of the bees and about the same of honey?
Quote
To my surprise the honey super was absolutely full with every frame capped.

I do not believe those numbers are accurate. I do not think the percentage of honey taken will be equal to the percentage of bees that leave. Whether it be 10, 50, or 90 percent of bees that leave in a swarm..
I do think it is safe to say of the bees that leave, no matter the percentage, take all the honey they can carry. (Could that amount of honey taken be 50 percent of each bees individual body weight) if so that may be where the 50 percent amount comes into play? 
I, as you Max, have never seen a noticeable amount of honey taken in a swarm situation.
As pointed out by Mr Bush; Sometimes 90 percent of the bees may leave in a swarm. Going  by the 50 percent theory, (equal percentage of bees, take equal amounts of honey) then wouldn't that mean 90 percent of bees leaving would have to take 90 percent of the honey for that theory to be accurate?
That just doesn't happen any more than 10 percent of leaving bees take 10 percent of honey. I really doubt that 90 percent of leaving bees take 10 percent of honey stores.
I tend to believe Ace is right. Leaving Bees, take honey that is uncapped.

Phillip




« Last Edit: September 25, 2023, 07:52:24 am by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Loosing 50%?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2023, 12:51:57 pm »
Bees ALWAYS prefer uncapped to capped for any use.  I don't think they limit themselves, but they will use all the open first.  I think a swarm leaves with every bee at full capacity.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Loosing 50%?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2023, 12:57:10 am »
What you say stands to reason Mr Bush. Thanks..
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline max2

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Re: Loosing 50%?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2023, 11:05:05 pm »
Opening up hive after hive i do come across the occassional one with little honey or not enough honey to bother.
I assume that they have swarmed. I don't even bother to have a closer look but just move to the next hive. And ponder...how much honey does a swarm realy take?

Some of the hives are boiling over with bees. Why did they not swarm? Genetics?

 

anything