Loosing 50%?

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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.

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.

Ben Framed:

--- Quote ---"Max2"
I suppose the size of the swarm would impact on the amount of honey taken.
--- End quote ---

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.


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

I think they take honey that isn't capped first.  Maybe subsequent swarms uncap.


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