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Cast swarm timing

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Silver Bee

Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:31 am    Post subject: Cast swarm timing Reply with quote

I still cannot get my head around the timings for cast swarms can someone help me.

In early June I had two hives:
Hive 1 swarmed on the 11th June - This was definitely a prime swarm.
Assuming they left the day the first queen cell was capped, the queen emerged 8 days later ie saturday 20th. The last possible queen (from old queen eggs) could be ??? upto 10 days later ie tue 30th June.

I collected what was obviously a cast swarm on saturday 27th June, if we assume the swarm left the day before it is likely they came for hive 1???

I have not been aware of a prime swarm from hive 2 (but that means nothing Smile but on checking on sat 27th there did appear to be reduced bee numbers.

What do we think?
a) Late cast from hive 1 (15 days after prime)
b) Cast from hive 2 having missed prime.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee

Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 589
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is (b). I often miss the prime and only notice the reduction in numbers after one or more casts.

Barbara and I both noticed "early casts" a few weeks ago, in other words the gap between prime and first cast was less than 8 days. We surmise that this was because the prime swarms were delayed a couple of days by the bad weather at the time. In other words, we were actually seeing late primes, not early casts.
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Site Admin

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've voted for it being from Hive 2 as well. Of course we can never be sure but if you are seeing numbers depleted at hive 2 then it's more likely you missed the prime and maybe even another cast. It's stretching it for it to be from hive 1 after that length of time but not totally impossible.

My first hive swarmed 22May (prime), 26th May (1st cast) 29th May(2nd cast) and 2nd June (3rd cast- which has developed a drone layer but thankfully I think I have a spare queen to sort it).

My other hive that swarmed, I missed the prime and the casts kept coming out and going back just when I thought I had them captured and I failed to catch any in the end but they gave me a good run around!

3 biggest colonies still haven't swarmed, which is really, really strange!
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