Question About Honey Bee Hive That Swarmed

by Ed
(Peggs OK)

I think my bees swarmed 1 week ago yesterday last Friday. I boxed them in another hive, and today I was checking the old hive and there are no eggs in there anywhere that I can see. What do I do?

I thought they didn't swarm unless there are 2 queens. Do I put another queen in or did she just not start laying yet? Thanks Ed


Hi Ed,

As you probably know, the old queen usually goes with the swarm. But bees will often swarm before replacement queens have even hatched out of their cells.

From the time a new queen emerges from her cell to the time she takes her mating flight and begins laying can easily take a week. And sometimes 1 or more of the new queens leave with afterswarms.

Also, the old queen would have stopped laying several days before the swarm departed so that she could slim down to flying weight.

So once a hive has swarmed, it wouldn't be at all unusual for there to be a period of quite a few days during which no eggs were being laid.

Of course, it's also possible that something happened to render the colony queenless. But I'd give them another few days before taking action toward giving the hive a new queen.

Odds are good that you're just in a normal egg-laying lull that's part of swarming.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

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