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Discussion Starter #1
here are some pictures of a sizeable swarm that came from my top-bar hive. the swarm collected into two clumps, both on the same tree, one below the other:

here is the top clump:


and the bottom clump:


I placed a sheet on the branches below each of the clumps and shook the bees onto the sheet, then dumped the bees from this sheet onto another sheet that led to the entrance of the new hive. Here is a picture of the bees on the sheet:


And some pictures of them as they march into the hive:





the bees are all now happily inside, hoarding their sugar syrup and foraging for pollen. the original hive is still waiting for its new queen to hatch out of the capped queen cells, and is considerably weaker, but has a great deal of eggs to hatch out.

I hope you enjoy the pics!

justgojumpit
 
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Wow!! Great pics! I'm impressed!
Any chance a couple of them could be slightly enlarged so we can have a find-the-queen contest?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
kosh, there were queen cells in the hive, but i hadn't noticed any capped cells. i kept moving empty top-bars in front of finished combs, which they rapidly drew out. what i should've done is to move empty combs right into the center of the brood nest to relieve congestion. oh well ;) i guess i know for next time!

the swarm has already drawn out all five frames, not to the full depth, but i would say they are at least halfway there on all of them! that is amazing speed... five frames in 24 hours! they have begun filling these frames with the sugar syrup i've been feeding them, but i haven't found any eggs yet. I already ordered two new deep hive bodies, and i plan to make a two-queen hive with the weaker of my two langstroth hives. The hive bodies better come in soon or the bees are gonna run out of room again!!! well, luckily, they have to wait for eggs until they can make queen cells lol!

on a side note: the bees had absolutely no problem in the transition from the top-bar hive to the langstroth hive.

justgojumpit
 

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That is so cool too see, great pic's, by the way.
I saw my dads hive swarm when I was about 8 yr old, it was awsome to watch and a little scary too, like a tornado of bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
in six days, this swarm has filled five frames with honey, eggs, and pollen, and i added another nuc box, with bottom removed, on top. there's another five frames of foundation, which should hold me until my new woodenware comes in, which i will use to make a two-queen hive with the swarm and another hive.
 

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I am so new at beekeeping that I know 2 things:

1. I have a hive.

2. I need bees.

WHAT THE HECK IS A SWARM? YOU GUYS ARE FREAKING ME OUT!
 

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A swarm is how bees start a second hive.

The old queen leaves and takes about half of the bees with her. The bees are carrying as much honey as they can, to last them for a few days. They will find a new location to start a hive, and start one.

At the OLD hive, there will be a few queen cells. When the first queen cell hatches, she will seek out her rivals and destroy them before they can emerge. Sometimes the worker bees want to swarm again, in which case they will cover up the other queen cells, and not let the new queen at them. By doing this, a second or even a third swarm is possible.

Bees swarm because the old hive is full, or because the time of year is right (most bees swarm in the spring) or (occasionally) just because they WANT to! It can be hard to argue with insects.

Swarming bees are not usually capable of stinging because their honey stomachs are too full of honey. In order to sting, they have to be able to bend, and a heavy-laden bee cannot bend. If it takes them too long to find a hive, however, they CAN bend, because they will have used up the honey they are carrying. So, the bees in swarms can SOMETIMES swarm, but not usually!
 
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