Beekeepers - Is this a swarm? Pictures

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by greenfamilyfarms, May 18, 2011.

  1. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    My husband built a new top bar hive and moved bees from a nuc to the new hive yesterday. This morning I went out to check the hive and bees are coming and going from the new hive, but there is a big clump of bees on the ground below the hive. Is this a swarm or are they confused?

    Since the nuc frames would not fit into the top bar hive, he had to trim away some of the comb and he destroyed several queen cells. Since bees are in the hive and staying in the hive, I'm sure there has to be a queen in there. What I need to know is if we need to collect the swarm on the ground, if it is a swarm, and how we would do so without injuring a bunch of bees and/or loosing the queen.

    The good thing is that just from the trimmed combs, we collected ~2 quarts raw honey.

    Swarm? On the ground, under hive:

    Clump of bees is located near the left forward leg of the hive:

    Bees coming and going from hive:
  2. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    Looks like a swarm. Given you just transfered from a nuc the bees might not be taking to the new digs and swarmed. With queen cells in the nuc they might have be cramped and ready to swarm. Just because some bees stayed in the TB hive it does not meen they have a queen, they may be queenless and will set to raising an emergency queen. If so this would be a big setback time wise as the new queen would take a couple weeks to hatch then would need to fly out for mating and might not start laying for a week after, then another 3 weeks before new workers. In total loosing at least 6 weeks of early summer flow. A new caged mated queen might be an option if you don't have a queen to work with in either the swarm or the TB hive.

    Given that there is a good chance the queen is in that swarm ball. I'd try to collect them and dump them back in the hive, if needed spray them down with sugar water to help control the recapture. Close it up for a day or two with some sugar water, then check after a day or two to see if you can spot a queen or freash laying.

    I'm still new to bees, so likely someone will come up with more ideas.

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