Done Swarming?

It has been 8 days since we had our first swarm.  From what I've read, an afterswarm can follow about 8 days after the primary swarm.  The bees have been pretty settled in with two days of cool, rainy 50 degree weather but were out flying well today.  You can see them flying if you zoom in on the photo above.  Hopefully, they are settling in and the threat of another swarm from #2 or a first swarm from #1 is over.  Bees were busy but looking normally busy, bringing in quite a lot of pollen.  Dandelions are turning to seed now.  Oak, birch and ash are producing pollens as well as many blooming flowers.  Keeping the fingers crossed on the swarming.  Hopefully they are now thinking HONEY!
While the bees were busy, I made myself busy and did a spraying in our little vineyard (just over 30 vines), from which we make great juice and a drinkable wine, at least most years.  I like this time of year with the vineyard, when the vines are just leafing out and the new grapes are just coming on.  It's also bluebird time, and one of the houses attached to a vine post is currently occupied and did not like my presence too much.


  1. Do you divide your hives? I'm thinking I may need to do that soon because I noticed a lot of drone comb (isn't that one sign of swarming?). When they swarm, how many would you estimate stay behind? I'm so curious about the swarming, it would be fascinating to see it happen.

  2. Michelle, sorry about responding so late. I thought about dividing, but we only want to have at the most 3 hives, so dividing each year would be good BUT then we'd have to either give them away or have a much bigger apiary than we want. Yes, it was very fascinating watching them swarm. I suppose about 10000 bees left--still a lot in the hive, looks about the same when we open.

  3. Jim, do you still get lots of honey from your hives that swarm? We aren't going to be able to split this year and I'm not even sure how to manage the hive without splitting :( Guess rotating boxes might work.

  4. Hi, Michelle. Sorry again about the late respone--we've been up in your neck of the woods fishing--but no internet. I don't know--I have a super on the hive that swarmed and it is being filled in faster than the one on the hive that didn't and has more bees. The time for honey flow is upon us, so we'll know very soon. You could pull a couple frames of honey out and replace with new frames/foundation, and hopefully they'll get busy working on those. The queen likes to lay on fresh wax, so maybe she'll decide to stick around.


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