BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER > DOWN UNDER BEEKEEPING

Loosing 50%?

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Michael Bush:
Sometimes 10% leave.  Sometimes 90% leave...

Ben Framed:

--- Quote ---How often have I read that a swarm will take about 50% of the bees and about the same of honey?
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---To my surprise the honey super was absolutely full with every frame capped.

--- End quote ---

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




Michael Bush:
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.

Ben Framed:
What you say stands to reason Mr Bush. Thanks..

max2:
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?

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