Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

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royl
Nursebee
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:22 am

Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

Post by royl » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:11 pm

I split this hive 11 day ago (removed the queen and placed her in a Nuc). Today is a 66 and overcast/rain. This hive is not prone to bearding so far this year. Then all of a sudden I see this! I can't tell if this is about to swarm/is a swarm, or just a beard.
Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG (124.06 KiB) Viewed 657 times

Wally
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Re: Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

Post by Wally » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:14 pm

My guess is, If they have an upper entrance, it's a beard.

If no upper entrance, it's a swarm.

PS. As stated, it's just a guess.

royl
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:22 am

Re: Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

Post by royl » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:50 pm

Thank you Wally. Even though there is an upper entrance they never use it.

I'm thinking this maybe a swarm considering since this hive doesn't beard and they don't use the top entrance. I assume it is safe to leave it overnight and collect it in the morning?

My other hive did this last week and swarmed 3 days later.

royl
Nursebee
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:22 am

Re: Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

Post by royl » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:55 pm

I guess the next question is how would I collect this swarm? Should I just knock them off to the ground in the hopes they walk into an unoccupied hive?

royl
Nursebee
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:22 am

Re: Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

Post by royl » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:01 pm

Here is a link to a couple of videos and pics.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/YTcXDCAIRJwUceww2

Jacobs
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Re: Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

Post by Jacobs » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:12 pm

My guess would be an attempted swarm where the queen did not go and the bees returned. If that happens, they return to the front of the hive and after awhile, go back in. If that is the case, they are likely to try again and may get the queen to go the next time. That could happen tomorrow or in the next couple of days.

royl
Nursebee
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Re: Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

Post by royl » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:22 pm

Thanks Rob for the reply.

I'll keep an eye on them over the next few days. My luck they'll swarm up 60 feet in the air, laugh, and fly away. I intentionally split this hive about 2 weeks ago to prevent a swarm (I saw capped queen cells). I guess the lesson learned here is that there is no guarantee that splitting a hive will prevent it from swarming.

I'll keep everyone posted...finger crossed.

Wally
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Re: Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

Post by Wally » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:28 pm

First you said 11 days ago. Now you say 2 weeks ago. Now you also add that you had queen cells when you split. With that info, YES, it's a swarm. Collect it at your earliest opportunity and get it into another hive.

royl
Nursebee
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:22 am

Re: Is this a swarm or a big ol beard?

Post by royl » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:19 pm

I gathered the swarm this morning. Rob recommended to mist the cluster with sugar water before sweeping them into a container. That did the trick.

This year is full of surprises so far. For some reason, I think Mother Nature has a few more up her sleeve.

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