Home | About | Products | Blog

Absconding bees in new Warre Hive


We purchased a Warre Hive from Bee thinking this spring. 2 empty boxes with top bars, one feeding box that the bees could not actually enter.
A 3 pound package of Carnolian bees was installed with a mated queen. The queen was released on the 3rd day. On the 4th day the bees had absconded the hive.
Does anyone know why this would happen?
Our hive does have viewing windows. We looked several times through the day. Do you think this would be disturbing the hive? It also is a new hive, so maybe the hive needs to weather or air out?

Does this happen more frequently with Warre hives because comb is not established? I also wondered if the queen was released too soon. There was one piece of comb drawn in the center of the hive.

Please let me know what you think or what your experiences are.


Although this is rare, it happens. How did you release the queen? Are you sure she got into the hive when she was released. If you used a queen cage with candy on one side, the drones should have eaten through it and released the queen while in the hive. All you would need to do is remove the empty queen cage in 3 days. If you released the queen yourself, the old-timers suggest you spit on her or spray her with sugar water which causes the other bees to clean her which accelerates acceptance into the hive. The moisture also makes it harder for her to fly off while moving her to the new hive. Other possible causes of a swarm this soon could be something they did not like (toxic) in the hive. Did you paint or stain the inside? Most beekeepers leave the interior of the hive unfinished to avoid possible rejection from the bees. If none of this applies, I would try again.