Did I Catch a Swarm with My Empty Deep?

Ask the Expert!

Did I Catch a Swarm with My Empty Deep?

Tim Conkle asks:

I have a 10-frame deep hive that had honey in it. There have not been bees in the hive in a year. I was down there Sunday, and there were 200 to 300 bees in there. I think that it’s just bees getting the old honey out of there, but they are fanning the honey as if they want to cap it. And I would like to know if the bees will stay in there at night or fly back home at dark?

Rusty Burlew replies:

Those bees you see in the hive are most likely robbers that will work on the combs until all the honey is gone. Two to three hundred bees sounds about right. They may be fanning the scent of the honey or the scent of pheromones to let other bees know of the find. They will summon help from their colony so they can collect all the honey before another colony finds it. They will all go home at night and come back bright and early the next day.

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