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Author Topic: A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?  (Read 141 times)

Offline Ben Framed

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A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?
« on: March 23, 2020, 09:28:52 pm »
I caught quite a large swarm past Friday. This swarm was roughly fifteen feet up on a Magnolia limb. Coolbees taught me last year that it is better to leave the limb intact where the swarm settles, this I did. This made a relativity easy recovery. I did not find a marked queen. My queens are marked. Since Friday the weather has turned cool, forties at night and rain, rain, rain except a break yesterday afternoon.  Today was a beautiful day yet still cool long sleeve weather. The caught swarm is already taking in pollen.

Now to the questions. Today I noticed what looked to be scouting bees circling round and about that same limb. Not many, no more than 10-20 at any given time. Have any of you noticed this type of activity after retrieving a swarm days later even after much rain? Is it a fair possibility that a secondary, or even another primary swarm may soon be on its way to that same limb in your experiences? I am just guessing. As far as I know, this could be some of the bees that were in the swarn. But until today they have been pretty well buttoned down in their new home because of weather. I am confident the Friday swarm is home to stay. I could be wrong there also, but I do not think so reason being they are bringing in pollen.

Thanks,
Phillip Hall   

Offline CoolBees

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Re: A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2020, 02:56:28 am »
Phillip - my buddy (mentor I guess) would say "that's another swarm checking out that same branch". Often, he's not wrong. Sometimes he is wrong. (Pls don't tell him I said that)  :grin: I've seen where he's caught multiple swarms from 1 branch. Once as many as 7 swarms over 2 yrs from a single branch. ... or, it could be some of the bees from your swarm "going home" to that branch occasionally.

So ... maybe it's another swarm, and maybe not ... time will tell ...
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Acebird

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Re: A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 09:00:00 am »
It is common for bees to be attracted to where swarms collect on a branch.  It may or may not be another swarm.  Keep watch and you will find out.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 11:06:09 am »
> So ... maybe it's another swarm, and maybe not ... time will tell ...

>It is common for bees to be attracted to where swarms collect on a branch.  It may or may not be another swarm.  Keep
   watch and you will find out.

  Thank you friends. I will certainly let you know how this turns out. Thank you for your input.

  Phillip Hall

  Let me add, it is raining again today.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 11:53:45 am by Ben Framed »

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 01:27:54 pm »
Phillip,
Most of the time when a swarm departs, there are a hundred or more scouts still out in the field. Unless they were checking out the last future hive location, they do not know where the new hive is and wait on the last spot. I?m pretty sure that is what is going on.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2020, 02:15:19 pm »
Thanks Jim, I had added the information about cold setting in along with rain as consideration to this. But since you posted, you have opened my eyes to this possibility of what you have described could still be so.

As follows:
I caught the bee swarm in the afternoon Friday. The new hive was boxed up and ready to move by darkness. I moved them soon (after) darkness to their new place. During the night the change of weather set in and was prevalent until Sunday afternoon, even still it was cool with chilling wind, few bees were out and flying. Finally bees were flying midday yesterday. This is the time that I noticed the interested bees of the swarm limb.

If you are correct, and I believe you may very well be, then the scout bees had to hold out in a safe place during this time of bad weather or they would have surely died. Jim, does it make sense that the scouts, when returning to the swarm limb, found the swarm gone, not knowing what to do or where to turn because the swarm was now on the ground in their new box?  Remember, I do not move the new hive until darkness. These late arrival scouts may not have had time to find the new hive before dark and went back to their old hive for the night? Finally when the weather was warm enough, there they were, flying about the limb looking for mama?  I think this theory is very possible? It was again raining this morning. I am really interested in what may be the circumstances to follow. I will update when I know more. Thank you Jim also, for posting your thoughts on this.

Phillip Hall

Online Nock

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Re: A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 02:21:28 pm »
I?d go with leftovers from the swarm as well. Good chance another will hit there though.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 04:35:56 pm »
Phillip,
Even with putting the Nuc below the swarm location, some do not go down. On any given night, there are bees that went too far to make it back before sundown.
 The first cutout that I did we got there before sunrise and started vacuuming up every bee coming out of the hive about 30 minutes later we started having field bees return in large numbers and this continued for several hours before we actually opened up the hive. They were all field bees returning from the night out on the town.
D If the weather is bad for the next couple of days, they have to wait. As long as the temperatures are not freezing they can wait it out.
Jim Altmiller Red

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: A sign of a another swarm or just curious bees?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2020, 06:35:03 pm »
Phillip,
Even with putting the Nuc below the swarm location, some do not go down. On any given night, there are bees that went too far to make it back before sundown.
 The first cutout that I did we got there before sunrise and started vacuuming up every bee coming out of the hive about 30 minutes later we started having field bees return in large numbers and this continued for several hours before we actually opened up the hive. They were all field bees returning from the night out on the town.
D If the weather is bad for the next couple of days, they have to wait. As long as the temperatures are not freezing they can wait it out.
Jim Altmiller Red

Thanks Jim, even more clearer.

Phillip Hall