Author Topic: rain & swarming  (Read 505 times)

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Offline rober

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rain & swarming
« on: May 14, 2019, 07:28:06 am »
a commercial keeper I know told me last year that he thinks bees are more inclined to swarm when they are kept in the hives by long periods of rain. after this week i'm inclined to agree. I've had more hives trying to swarm than i've ever seen. i'm hearing the same thing from other keepers & I've had a boatload of swarm calls. anyone else had similar experiences?

Offline neillsayers

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Re: rain & swarming
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 04:55:23 pm »
Me too. It's very frustrating but your friend's theory makes sense. Swarming drive appears to be driven by crowding. If all the foragers are in the house, things are bound to get crowded.
The other downside is that the foragers are missing out on the nectar flow. We really need a few weeks of sunshine.  :)
Neill Sayers
Herbhome Bees
USDA Zone 7a

Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: rain & swarming
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 08:57:48 pm »
But wouldn't over crowding have to happen for some time for Q cells to be made or absconded . because of over crowding?

Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: rain & swarming
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2019, 09:01:53 pm »
Neil,
Hopefully you an yours , will have sunny skies and a good nectar flow  :yes:

Offline tecumseh

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Re: rain & swarming
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 06:34:28 am »
I suspect a casual but not a causal relationship...

There is a long list of why a hive swarms.  Rainy weather its not one of these but certainly rainy, wet and windy weather prevent swarming until the weather clears...  The beekeeper associates one event with the other while the relationship is only a matter of appropriate time..

Offline rober

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Re: rain & swarming
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 08:05:32 am »
I went thru my last yard today. 2 of 4 were locked & loaded & ready to launch & 1 did while I was there. . it must have launched just before I got there. there is no way I would have missed them leaving the hive but when I went to my truck I looked up & there was a swarm settling in a cedar tree. this was just after I got a call to catch a swarm near the anheuser  brewery. I backed my truck under the tree & put a step ladder in the bed so I could reach them. this yard is near my house so I took the swarm home, put them in the shade, got some more empty boxes & headed to the brewery. caught that swarm, got them home, hived both swarms & got another call. off again to catch my 3rd swarm of the day.
 so- EVERY strong hive I have either swarmed or tried to swarm in the last 5 days. with 2 weeks of rain I could not get into hives to check them. I've never had this many hives in swarm mode before & it's like a flu epidemic & not just my hives, it's all over the area. so while I know there are a number of things that contribute to swarm behavior i'm starting to believe that prolonged periods of rain might be another factor. I've caught 11 swarms so far this spring. luckily I have a lot of woodenware pre-fabbed. it just needs assembling. at this rate i'll be at 50 hives before long.