Todd’s After-swarm

I got a call from Todd this afternoon about an after-swarm. After discussion, we decided it would be fine to experiment with these.

I have a laying worker hive. At least 4 frames of brood. The population in the colony is at least 80% drone. They haven’t gotten mean…yet. I’m hoping to avoid that. So…

Swarm over Laying Workers

I put two screen inner covers on top of the laying worker colony and then placed two boxes for the swarm on top of the inner covers. The bottom swarm box has stores; the top swarm box is checker-boarded drawn comb and foundationless frames. I have a solid inner cover with a top entrance for the swarm.


They seemed to take to it pretty nicely.



The interesting thing is that next to this colony is a very weak colony that I think has a queen but only about a palm size patch of brood.  Some bees on this colony began nasonoving and I think about 25% of the swarm went in here!



So I’ll leave the laying worker/swarm colony alone for about a month and see what happens.  I’m hoping that the queen will mate and lay enough frames of brood to overcome the laying workers.  In the meanwhile I’m hoping the queen pheromone will keep the laying workers calm and I won’t end up with a yard of evil bees again this year!

I’ll check the weak colony in the next few days to see if I can detect if the population went up.

It’s always a learning journey!


UPDATE:  April 24th

First, I’m impatient! A day, a month, what’s the difference?!

Anyway, I wasn’t seeing too much action at the top entrance so I decided to check it out.  Not a bee in the top two boxes.  Not one.

So on the waiting 1 month theory, I will remove the top two boxes and screen and wait a while and see if any of them (the queen in particular) made it into the bottom laying worker colony. Doubtful but possible.

On a positive note, I checked the weak pink colony. The bee count is definitely up.  There is a queen.  I marked her red.