Swarm Moves Into An Occupied Hive

I’ve read and seen online about a swarm moving into an already occupied weak hive but never thought I would witness one myself. On Monday I was preparing lunch for the kids and looked out the window into the backyard and saw a swarm moving about in my yard. Looked at the main apiary and didn’t notice any hive swarming, so it could have been from somewhere else. Anyways, after a while I see them all landing on an already occupied hive that’s pretty weak but queenright.

I suited up and ran out there with a queen catcher and my camera. Spotted the queen running around but since they were already moving in I didn’t bother caging her.

I just sat there watching her run around. πŸ™‚ She’s a dark queen. I don’t think I have any queens this dark from any of my other hives unless this was a new queen that emerged recently.

And below is the queen making her way into the hive entrance.

A few more steps and she’s in.

Home sweet home. All the bees are fanning calling everyone to their new home.

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3 Responses to Swarm Moves Into An Occupied Hive

  1. Anna says:

    Do you think they can be AFB bees? I’ve heard they can take over European hives.

  2. Hey Anna,
    From the Africanized Honey Bees simulated map they have only made it to Salinas, CA. But that map is pretty old. From my understanding AFB cannot live in our cooler environment. I’m betting though that the AFB and European honey bees have cross-bred and now have mixed genes. Thus allowing the cross-breds to survive in my cooler weather conditions but with a more aggressive trait. But I hope I’m wrong. πŸ™‚

  3. Becca says:

    Just had the same thing happen here. I was making shook swarms and one of my hives absconded, right into an occupied hive! I didn’t realize what was going on until today, when I discovered the other hive had absconded. Carefully went through the occupied hive and found both queens. Unfortunately, one queen had been brutalized already. Just hope one queen survives out of this mess!

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