Swarmed to death!

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Guard bee
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:09 am

Swarmed to death!

Post by reedyfork »

In the hopes this helps someone else, I'm sharing my complete failure this spring. I have now had 3 of my 20 colonies swarm themselves to death. I made the mistake of assuming that bees would not swarm in the middle of the nectar flow, they would not build queen cells on the very bottom hanging down next to the screened bottom board, and made the mistake of not fully inspecting my brood boxes after I installed my excluders and stacked on the honey supers.

One of these colonies was the strongest in one of my yards, and was set up to be one of my biggest honey producers. On April 21 they were packed to the top and working on filling 4 medium supers. When I checked on them 2 weeks later (last Friday), they were completely broodless, queenless, and were down to 1-2 frames of bees TOTAL. But boy did they have at least 10 beautifully hatched queen cells in the very bottom box!

I ended up shaking the bees out in front of the adjacent hives and sticking all that equipment in the freezer. Very disappointing, but I learned some valuable lessons for next season!
Guard bee
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:12 am
Location: High Point, NC

Re: Swarmed to death!

Post by DuaneB »

I experienced something that Bob Bennie talked about in one of his videos, this year. That, even during the honey flow, if they are trapped in, because of something like the 4 days of rain about 4 weeks ago, they will start a swarming process. If you don't check your hive after the rain event for swarm cell, the they will mast likely swarm on you. Had a couple of mybstribg hives do that me. Fortunately I caught the swarms.
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