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Bees on floor?

 
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ecosharon
New Bee


Joined: 26 May 2015
Posts: 3
Location: England, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 5:32 pm    Post subject: Bees on floor? Reply with quote

I was given a swarm by a friend who found it on the floor near his hive. I took it to my hive late at night, let them fly from the box next to the hive during yesterday and put them in the hive last night. Today after flying well they are in a clump on the floor again about a foot from the hive. As the swarm was a cast, could it be the queen that can't fly properly? When I saw her yesterday as they were going up the ramp she did have quite small wings? Any advice as to what I should do with them now?
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds to me like you have a clipped queen.....the wings have been cut short to prevent flying off with a swarm. If your friend had a clipped queen in the hive and that hive swarmed it is that queen that will be on the floor in front of the original hive. Your friend has gathered this swarm up a long with the clipped queen and given it to you and this queen is not in your hive...if she was it sounds like she is not now. Gather all the bees up again and put them back in your hive. If it happens again put them in again. Some people lock the door with queen excluder to keep her in but as she has been slimmed down to fly she can still get through. It can happen if the hive is new wood or if the hive is in the wrong place for the bees or any other reason that they have!

The good news is that this queen should be replaced in late summer by the colony and you will have a new unmutilated queen who should stay in the hive next year and swarm and fly off the following year.

If you have a cast and as you say she had short wings....I have not heard of wing deformities in queens but I suppose Deformed Wing Virus can effect any bee...well the hive is not viable. A cast has an unmated queen not the old queen of the prime swarm and as such she needs to fly to be mated. If she can not fly she can not mate. The hive is doomed.

Lets hope you have a clipped queen and they get on with building a new colony and she is superceded this summer.

Any help?

A
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ecosharon
New Bee


Joined: 26 May 2015
Posts: 3
Location: England, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice, i'm going to put them back in, however don't think she is clipped, my friend started his bees with a swarm and hasn't 'interfered' with his bees. Just found something on the internet about deformed queens which may be the issue. Anyway gonna try scoop them up and put them back in!

Cheers
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok...you will need a queen with wings that she can fly with. You have several options.

Leave them alone and hope for the best

Find the deformed queen and replace her with a new queen

Merge this cast back into the original hive.

You may end up with a worker laying colony that will only produce drones which get smaller in size as the hive declines....but that is more likely with estblished colonies that become queenless...rather than with an unmated queen in the hive which will be producing pheromones of one sort or another.

If I had to make this decision I might re merge...save the workers not the queen. It depends on what hive you have how you might go about this. On a national you might do a newspaper merge...newspaper with small holes in it on top of the original hive with a queen excluder on top with an empty super....throw the cast in and over the next day or so the workers should chew through the paper and re-join the parent hive leaving the un mated queen above.

Others may tell you how to re merge into a different hive type...the idea would be to keep that queen out.
A
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ecosharon
New Bee


Joined: 26 May 2015
Posts: 3
Location: England, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bees all back in - eventually - clump was stuck in the grass took ages to find queen - on closer inspection wings looked ok but she off course may not be able to fly - encouraged queen back in (propelled on the back by a paintbrush!) then the other eventually followed - just gonna see what happens - may end up having to take them back to my friend. - He has a Warre hive - I have a top bar.

Thanks for advice.

Sharon
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