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2nd swarm in 10 days

Posted: Mon May 02, 2016 5:29 pm
by Randy Rutherford
Hi all,

My hive swarmed 4/22. I caught it (with queen) and started a new hive. The original hive swarmed again today and is hanging out in my neighbor's tree again. Is it likely there is a new virgin queen with this swarm? Would a swarm leave without a queen? If I put this swarm back into the original hive (which has plenty of queen cups), would it just swarm again?

Thanks for any insight,

Re: 2nd swarm in 10 days

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 2:57 pm
by Laura Tyler
Hi, Randy.

It's not unusual for a swarm-primed colony to swarm multiple times and two may not be the the end of it. Some colonies will swarm until they're essentially exhausted. Yes, it's likely that the subsequent swarms are swarming with virgin queens.

Collect them as you can, allow them to establish themselves as an independent colonies, and then combine if necessary later in the season. Since the swarm impulse is strong in this mother colony I would not attempt to re-integrate the daughter-swarms back in because it's likely to swarm again. Once the swarm impulse takes hold it can be hard to stop.