Author Topic: Mating flight vs arriving swarm  (Read 376 times)

vadentwin

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Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« on: July 11, 2020, 09:12:04 AM »
Went to look at my hives this morning an one of the boxes had bees bearding on the front. Pics attached. Upon a closer look there appears to be a virgin queen in this cluster. I just checked this box 2 days ago and there were eggs and larva and no queen cells. It is a box that only has 4-5 frames of bees. I opened the box and there seems to be as many if not more bees in there now.

Could this be an arriving swarm? They seem to be balling this queen up. I caged her but then decided to let them work it out and I dropped her back at the entrance. She didn't go in.

Any ideas?

Dirt Rooster

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Re: Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2020, 10:15:14 AM »
I'd say you walked in on a mating flight.

Rojodiablo

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Re: Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2020, 11:26:32 AM »
Nice little batch of bees, you are correct to let them work it out, I think she will do her thing and has brought some new bees with her, which is a bonus! ;D

Vadentwin, what part of Florida are you in? My son recently moved back to Florida, he's living a little east of Orlando, and a tech at the car dealership he works for is somewhere around there as well, has bees in a tree hollow he'd like to maybe get trapped out. 12/15 ft up....

vadentwin

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Re: Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2020, 02:33:14 PM »
I am in Ocala (1hr NW of Orlando). Would be happy to help him trap them out. Moving soon back to the area I grew up, on the west coast of Florida north of Tampa. Need to get back to the coast.

The hive with the queen outside has settled down now and normal number of bees on outside of box. This is the box I wanted to move about 10ft. I'll leave them alone for a week or so and then see if I have eggs. It is weird because they are a small hive with only 4-5 partially built frames. Nice brood pattern and a rainbow of honey across the tops. I looked at all the frames and didn't notice any cells. I do have another double deep that seems to make a new queen every month. That box always has cells.

vadentwin

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Re: Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2020, 08:02:07 PM »
This afternoon I notice quite a bit of activity in my back yard with lots of bees in the air. Found this in one of my olive trees. I don't see how this came from one of my 5 hives. I just did a full inspection on all 5 hives 2 days ago and there were no swarm cells. They started orienting to a box as soon as I laid it under them. Didn't see a queen. The box that had the cluster on it this morning still has as many if not more bees in it

Should I lock them down for 48hours? Should I check my boxes for a missing queen? Makes me want to start marking Queens again.

vadentwin

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Re: Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2020, 08:53:44 PM »
After dark update.

Locked them in with a screen bottom board and moved the box back to the area where my other hives are. I looked at the one that had the activity this morning and they are dragging out larva.

I didn't look inside but just an hour earlier there where a bunch of bees in there when I lifted the lid and inner cover. I swear there are more bees in the box than 2 days ago.  They had no queen cells, capped and uncapped honey as well as bread on my inspection 2 days ago.

Just when I think I'm figuring things out.

Rojodiablo

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Re: Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2020, 01:55:36 AM »
I'd think that small of a swarm is just a mating flight of a new queen. I screwed up two hives last year, being quick to grab all swarms I saw, and I inadvertently stole queens from two bigger hives the same way. Not enough bees to make a strong hive, and the big hive lost two weeks with the waiting for their queen to hatch and come home........ :P One big hie made it, the other did not. BOTH the small swarms failed, I didn't feed them profusely, and they just did not have the numbers to make it.
This year, I took what I learned about my yard, and decided to let them do all the splitting and just watch swarms and take the bigger ones who set up shop and stay for a full day. The mating flight swarms seemed to mostly be midday, and by evening the queen was rested enough to fly back to er parent hive, and just motored right along. I'd like to just let them do this each time..... but I have houses pretty close, so I need to stay on top of them and minimize swarming from here on out.  Again.... learning more as I go.

If'n the boys need help, I will hit you up!! Thank you very much. And, when we are a free country again...... :o I will head out to see my son, and will definitely get with you to meet up and spend a little time in person.  :D

vadentwin

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Re: Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2020, 07:33:30 AM »
Well HELL!

This morning I am going to go have a look at the hive that is dragging brood out to see if there is a queen. If I don't see a queen I will probably combine them. Might go ahead and move them over to the manicured area as well and get them out of the grass.

Diablo,

I travel frequently with work but would love to meet for dinner and a beer. My wife and I hate Orlando but there are some really good restaurants just outside of Orlando.

vadentwin

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Re: Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2020, 10:09:20 AM »
Went to check the hive that I think this originated from. There are 6-7 frames of bees but they have dragged all the brood out. No eggs, no larva a few partially capped brood that seems they are cleaning out. Oh yea, no queen. I combined the "swarm" from yesterday and added an internal feeder even though there was an almost full frame of bread and quite a bit of nectar and capped honey across the tops of the frames.

This was a small hive that seems to have gotten bigger, but I don't see any signs they will prosper. This hive came from a small dry cutout. Leaving for a business trip in the morning. Gonna have to let them figure it out. They have a gallon of 1:1.

BTW, just watched a video that gave the quote "Swarm in July... Let 'em fly". Wish I had seen this before yesterday. Looking back I should have just left them alone.

doggoner

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Re: Mating flight vs arriving swarm
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2020, 12:11:52 PM »
I remember an old rhyme kind of like "A swarm in May is worth a wagon of hay. A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon. A swarm in July just let it go by." Sound advice for the most part.

doggoner
« Last Edit: July 13, 2020, 11:22:46 AM by doggoner »
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