Swarm Update

I thought for sure the swarm I caught earlier this week was from one of my own hives. I just had this sickening feeling.

We moved the swarm from the nuc box into a full size deep body. They took covered about 9 frames. In the picture below, they are in the green camo hive sitting on top of the nucs.

We found what we think is the queen in the swarm hive, and she was unmarked, so we marked her. She looked a bit little, like maybe she wasn't fully mated yet. Being unmarked, we began to think she wasn't from one of my hives, since they were all marked queens.

So we dug into each of the 3 hives at my house.
The two hives on the outside ends had artificial swarms to prevent swarming, and the hive in the middle we were cutting swarm cells every 7 days.

None of the hives appeared to have lost any bees at all, so we're declaring this swarm to be either a wild swarm or one from another beekeeper somewhere.

I know there are a few other beekeepers in Eureka area (feel free to contact me via the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page) and I can give you whereabouts I live and see if you had a colony that swarmed recently.

I've been doing some reading that suggest a hive may swarm, on average, between 300-900 meters away before clustering up and landing (that's 984 feet to a half mile for those like me who don't use the metric system). I thought the colony just swarmed at most 50 feet before landing, but I've never given it much research before. If someone has read a different statistic, please leave a note in the comments below.

After capturing this swarm, I went into the middle hive, found the queen and promptly smashed her. I didn't want another nuc, and instead cut all but 2 swarm cells in the hive. One will hatch, kill the other, and hopefully end their desire to swarm.

It's getting warm and summer will be here soon, I don't want to keep chasing them every 7 days cutting swarm cells. :)

Now none of my hives at home will be trying to swarm, and we can focus on supers. I put two new supers on my hives tonight, the last of my drawn out supers. The bees are filling them quick right now, we're in the midst of the main nectar flow.

See also: Swarm Update II.

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