Home | About | Products | Blog

Multiple Swarming From Same Hive. Advice needed


#1

I just have my 3rd & 4th swarm from the same hive today.
I am a 2nd year backyard beekeeper with two hives. Hive 1 started last season as a package. I started Hive 2 this past April from a Nuc. (Both are Langstroth hives). Planning on starting a Top Bar hive next spring.
Here’s the deal. Hive 1 is extremely strong and productive. I have 6 medium supers on top of my brood box, and most are full to bursting with honey. I am waiting until next weekend (June 14th) to harvest when some friends can come and help.

Two weeks ago, Hive 1 swarmed, 10 feet up in a tree next to my bee yard… Since this was the old queen, I combined the swarm with Hive 2 (using the newspaper method). It worked like a charm.
Four days ago, Hive 1 swarmed again. Same tree, 12 feet up. This time, I was more prepared. I had built a Top Bar Nuc from the plans I bought on this site. Happy to say that this new colony is happy, and hopefully productive.
Today, a third swarm. This time in a maple sapling at eye level. Whew! No ladder needed. Later in the day, a 4th swarm in the first tree, but only 8 feet up.

I am unsure how many bees are left in the hive… and if there are any more queen cells waiting to emerge.

So… it was near sunset, so I have these two swarms in plastic Nuc boxes waiting for a decision to be made. I do not want to start new hives. I have enough to keep me busy.
My choices are:
1) Sell the new colonies as is, pretty much as packages.
2) Let the new colonies build out the frames in the Nuc boxes and sell them later in the summer.
3) Collect the new queens tomorrow and allow the workers to rejoin Hive 1, thus keeping the hive strong enough to protect the honey stores from any moths and/or beetles.

Thank you.


#2

So what did you decide to do? A similar thing has happened to one of my hives this past week, but I was willing to start 2 new hives and the third I am giving away. Did they stop at 3 or did they throw another cast?


#3

I decided to sell the two swarms I caught as packages. I had a deal worked out on a Friday and was going to deliver them on Sunday. But on Saturday, I went out to the bee yard and the two nun boxes were empty. I was very disappointed. I should’ve closed off the entrances to insure that they’d stay. I though it was better to let them set up house and feel comfortable. Live and learn!
And, yes, they stopped swarming after this event.

And the 2nd swarm is doing very well. I built a top bar hive using the BeeThinking plans and moved them in about a month ago. They are being productive and building out lots of comb. No plans to try and harvest anything this year. I want to make sure they’ll overwinter ok.