SWARM of JECs Hebert Bee Hive on April 12, 2013
On April 12, 2013 my Hebert Hive swarmed and I lost at least 50 % of the bees plus the queen. Hive is now queen less, unless they have created a new queen. Lessons to be learned from this experience.
I never let the hive become overcrowded.
I should have reacted to my inspection a month ago, indicating a full hive and evidence of queen cell activity, and split hive even though I did not have a new queen bee. The split could have made their own queen.
I should never have added the super to the two brood boxes in Hebert Hive. Although I though this would give more room and discourage them reaching a swarm point, I think the addition of the super only triggered fright or sped up swarm process.
When I noticed the overhead swarming around 11 am on this morning and consequently the gathering of the swarm on a 40 fool tall pine sapling, I should have called for help in removing the swarm from the top of the young pine tree. This would have allowed for additional hands and knowledge in trying to capture the ball of bees that had settled near the top of the pine sapling. It would have allowed for one person to cut the tree and the other to slowly lower the tree, allowing for capture of the bees in a box, rather than what happened, which was: I cut the tree diameter to much and it fell and the bees dispersed and lost the queen in process.
This resulted in the queen flying away to another tree near the original tree, but a sweet gum instead of pine. By time I tried to react the the new swarm being formed, in the sweet gum tree and consequently the swarm leaving for unknown parts and places.
Even though new queen bees had been ordered and were late being delivered, it would have been better to split the Hebert Hive and try to save old and split hive.
I should have anticipated this reality and planned appropriately, now the status is the Hebert Hive has no queen but still has bees. The new give (named Shirley Hive previously) is now without bees or queen.
Is there enough bees still left in the Hebert Hive to split with Shirley Hive?? Does the Hebert Hive now have a queen, new one made by inhabitants? I have two queen bees ordered and coming in earmarked for replacement of the queen in Hebert Hive and the other to start the Shirley Hive. Was going to place the old queen, from Hebert Hive in a queen making box and try to grow some queen bees using her as mother. Now this has all been lost ! How to recover??
What will be the consequences of having the Hebert Hive left queen less for up to 4 to 5 days without a queen? Will they start new queen cells and should replace these when mail order queen bee arrives, in approximately 4 days?
To many possibilities for one so inexperienced as myself. I did look for dispersed swarm yesterday till almost dark and again this morning (Saturday, 13) but did not locate the lost swarm, but from what I read and discussion with Richard Hebert the swarm will usually travel far away looking for new quarters.