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rhino

Swarm

I had a swarm arrive on Monday, I've managed to coax it into the hive but what now, do I just leave it for this year, treat for mites, any suggestions??/
Gareth

How is your hive set up? How many brood frames are in there? does it have a super with frames on?

If you have a super with frames on the hive, take it off, put the crown board directly over the brood box and put the roof back on. Add a sugar & water feed to encourage the swarm to start working and make sure there is water available very close at hand. Then basically just let them get on with it for a week or so before opening up the hive for a full progress inspection.
.

Although any plastic trough or plant pot stand will do, currently I am using mini paint roller trays (got a job lot of 100 very cheap!) which I have filled with gravel to use as Bee drinkers, and with the sloping bottom and the gravel it is very easy to ensure there is clean water always safely available for our Bees. For convenience and no other reason I have the drinkers located on the flat roof of each of our National Beehives

I am checking and replenishing the water for the hives every second day, and by doing the whole round of 40 hives on my Bicycle and I am rather enjoying it.

British Red

Its important to know whether you have put them on foundation or drawn comb as well. A little thin shrub (one litre water to one kg white sugar) is no bad thing because the swarm have no stores to work from. Be careful which varroa treatment you use. I personally would leave varroa treatment until you have sealed brood and then I would only use MAQS.

The waterer is a good point, but I suggest a chicken waterer with the trough filledwithstones,lasts for weeks:)
rhino

Cheers I've handed it over to my son, who unbeknown to me has been helping a beekeeper out to learn more about it so he's CEO of Broken Toad farm bee keeping division.  
rhino

Well a quick update, he opened it up last week to do his thing which was fine, he said it seemed strong. Anyway over the last few days it's gone very quiet and today I found a pile of dead bees with quite a few on the ground round them looking distressed  
Over to more knowledgable folk than me, that's you lot, any ideas chaps
Gareth

Nothing to worry about too much at this time of year.

A worker Bee's lifespan is only six weeks during the summer months so there will be natural loss of what may seem like a significant amount of bees after swarm and settling into a new home... they have just reached the end of their natural lives.

Look more carefully at the lack lustre live ones on the floor. They may be a hatching that has been affected with Varroa mite; mishapen and damaged wings will indicate this.

It may also be a survival tactic on the part of the Queen and workers if there are insufficient stores of Honey and pollen the hive and the weather has been inclement; the Drones may have been evicted to prevent a shortfall of food for developing larvae. Put an inverted sugar feed on. Basically fill a jar to the top with sugar, add approx 2 teaspoons of vinegar (malt, spirit, wine etc.) per 500g of sugar and then top the jar up with previously boiled and cooled water. Shake & stir and stand until cleared and then feed to the bees.

It may be an idea to get the local EA/Defra Bee officer (visits and inspections are FOC but you may have to pay for a written report) to inspect the hive, and he will be able to tell you exactly what is wrong if there is something wrong.
rhino

I hope you're right there seems to be little activity compared to when they arrived just a few bees round the entrance, before there were lots all the  time coming and going. Oh well thanks for the thoughts, time will tell, I'm hoping that they can rally on a positive note I've seen no wasps.  
Gareth

Wait until you have had the Bees in the hive for 14 days, then open the hive and check that it is queen right and that you have brood in all stages. Eggs larvae, sealed brood, and newly hatched Bees. If you have brood in all stages then you have very little to worry about.

I would also be on the lookout for Queen cells, both swarm and supersession. If you have Queen cells, then decisions have to made, and I would definitely destroy the swarm cells, and I personally would destroy the supersession cells at this time if the hive was Queen right.
rhino

I'll pass it on to No.2 son he's in charge. He's in Turkey till next week so should be just right for when he comes back. I'll let you know.  
Gareth

How goes the swarm? are they good & healthy? have they settled?
rhino

Still very low in numbers you only ever see 4 or 5 outside at any one time but they are still there. I think that youwere right about the die off, but that due to them having a week outside the hive then a lot of disturbance they didn't have time to grow replacements before they started dying. After that the numbers weren't there to feed the grubs, so it'll be a slow process to build up numbers. Does that sound logical. THe lads back off holiday tomorrow so it'll be his problem  
Lorrainelovesplants

Give them a feed, I think.
rhino

Quick update I think the bees I'm seeing are robbers rather than actual inhabitants.   I don't know what to think.
British Red

Sounds like it didn't anchor properly and left. If you can next time get them on drawn comb with a frame of stores. Once the queen lays(and if its a primary swarm rather than a cast yhen she will be an older mated queen) they will stay put. Bees don't leave brood unprotected.

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