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Author Topic: Funny Swarming Activity  (Read 392 times)

Offline GSF

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Funny Swarming Activity
« on: April 17, 2018, 04:26:36 pm »
I'm on about number 17 on the swarm count. I've hived about 9 of them. One landed on the entrance to my queen castle, and the queen went in. No other queen in there just a swarm cell. There were too many for that but I managed to get them in a deep. Two of the other ones landed on the supers of active hives. One was a nuc - no queen just a swarm cell. They went in and made themselves at home. I heard a queen piping in there last night. The other one landed on the front of another active hive with a swarm cell. I caught them. I was wondering if it's possible that these were the queen returning from her mating flight but ruled that out because it was cold, rainy, and windy one day it happened. Plus the bees would have marched in.

Another thing that happened is two of my hives which are side by side have swarmed and returned to the box. One did it about six times, the other about four times. The last time one of them swarmed it went high, turned left, followed the tree line and landed safely out of reach. About 20-30 minutes later the hive next to it swarmed, followed the same path and combined with that swarm. Well both hives have just swarmed again, and combined on the same limb again, (different place) and again - safely out of reach (of my wife). I'm going straight for them when I get home in an hour or so - if they're still there.
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Offline eltalia

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Re: Funny Swarming Activity
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 08:04:01 pm »
You're welcome to all that activity... I could not live with it, that's for sure.

Bill

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Re: Funny Swarming Activity
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 08:45:56 pm »
It used to be unheard of to have a hive usurp another hive. Now it is getting to bee more common. I have witnessed it in my hives. Usually in hives without an established queen as in your case. I suspect it came from the genetics of the Africanized Bees.
Jim

Offline eltalia

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Re: Funny Swarming Activity
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 03:52:07 am »
It used to be unheard of to have a hive usurp another hive. Now it is getting to bee
more common. I have witnessed it in my hives. Usually in hives without an
established queen as in your case. I suspect it came from the genetics of the
 Africanized Bees.
Jim

I don't impose too many "rulez" on the bees living in our shared space
buuuut there is one of them, start those capers around here and
they get a bus ticket, one way. Heh.

Bill

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Funny Swarming Activity
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 07:27:53 am »
The swarm that I had in my apiary usurped one just boxed Nuc with a virgin queen then moved into another smaller Nuc with a virgin queen then up and left with all of the bees. It was not good for my apiary.
Jim

Offline Acebird

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Re: Funny Swarming Activity
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 09:56:47 am »
The swarm that I had in my apiary usurped one just boxed Nuc with a virgin queen then moved into another smaller Nuc with a virgin queen then up and left with all of the bees. It was not good for my apiary.
Jim

So what do you think Jim, if you see this happening again should the hive be snuffed out or at least the queen to stop the progression?
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Funny Swarming Activity
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2018, 10:43:58 am »
I agree that I did not see a usurpation until recent years, but they did take place, though, it seems to me at a much lower rate:

This is from 1917:

"Q. I had 32 colonies of bees, and I have lost five of them. They will swarm and come out of their own hive and settle on the outside of some of the other hives, and leave their own hives empty, with lots of honey in them. When they settle on the other hives it causes a fight. What makes the bees do this?

"A. Bees sometimes seem to have a mania for deserting their hives in spring and trying to force their way into other hives, and it isn't easy to say just why. Some think because they are weak and discouraged. Some think because they have started a lot of brood, and then the old bees have died off so rapidly that enough are not left to cover the brood. In any case the advice given is to have only strong colonies in the fall. This is sound advice on general principles, even if there should be some absconding the following spring in spite of strong colonies. "
--C.C. Miller, A thousand answers to Beekeeping Questions, 1917
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Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Funny Swarming Activity
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2018, 01:07:37 pm »
The swarm that I had in my apiary usurped one just boxed Nuc with a virgin queen then moved into another smaller Nuc with a virgin queen then up and left with all of the bees. It was not good for my apiary.
Jim

So what do you think Jim, if you see this happening again should the hive be snuffed out or at least the queen to stop the progression?
My recommendation would be to put a queen excluder below the bottom box, let them build up until you can replace the queen.
Jim

Offline Acebird

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Re: Funny Swarming Activity
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 08:51:18 pm »
We call them queen excluders but they also exclude drones.  Maybe they should have been called worker sieves.  I keep coming back to how man tries to control things in the insect world and I have to ask how many times does it work?
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Offline GSF

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Re: Funny Swarming Activity
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 02:40:20 pm »
On the way home yesterday my wife called me and said she thinks a couple of hives were swarming at the same time. They landed on a lower pine limb so she tried to shake them in a box. It was a huge swarm of bees hanging on the limb when she shook them. She had the truck backed up under them and more went in the bed of the truck than in the super. A bunch entered the super and went to fanning while another much smaller group gathered on the inside wall of the truck bed. I found the small queen and got them in a nuc. If two hives actually swarmed then they would have landed on the same limb and combined, when they were shook off they regrouped back into the original swarms. If that were the case, but stranger things have happened..,
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.