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Author Topic: Weak Hive with Swarm Cells  (Read 858 times)
mgmoore7
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« on: March 09, 2009, 10:26:09 AM »

I have a hive that was weak (2-3 frames brood & 2 frames pollen & honey) that was in a deep. They were concentrated on one side of the deep in 5-6 frames.

Saturday:
I found 3 or 4 capped swarm cells. There were still eggs.

I decided to do a split in hopes of prevention of the swarm knowing this may not work but not sure there is anything to lose.

I found the queen, (she appeared noticibly smaller) and moved her into a nuc with some brood & pollen and started to feed.

I left the swarm cells with the existing hive (hive 1).

Sunday:
I had to make another nuc to move the extisting hive into as I only had one nuc available.

Hive 1 - moved into nuc. Looked for queen and did not find one and this hive should be queenless. Did not find any eggs. Started feeding.

I looked for queen in hive 2 and did not find her but did find eggs. (this hive should have the existing queen)

I did not notice any signs of swarm at this point.


Questions:
1. The hive that has the exising queen (hive 2), should I kill any swarm cells? I believe there is one.
2. I want to requeen both of these hives.
-Hive 1 - no queen, swarm cells. Is it safe to kill the swarm cells and introduce a queen?
-Hive 2 - queenright hive - if i kill the queen and put i a new one, will they still swarm if they are determined too anyway?
3. The fact that this hive is swarming is odd. Small hive with a less than 1 year queen. I will say that it is likely this queen if africanized as she was not purchased and it is prevelent in my area. Two characteristics of africanized is smaller colonies that swarm more often. I needed to requeen this hive anyway.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2009, 02:59:41 PM »

Swarm cells or supercedure???
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 03:05:34 PM »

Swarm cells or supercedure???

All of the cells were on the very bottom of the frames and capped.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 03:21:54 PM »

since one hive is queenless, but has cells-place that hive in location where the most bees will return. Or old location. Put hive w/ queen across yard. The foragers will go back to queenless hive giving enough bees to this hive and reducing numbers in hive about to swarm. Rejection isnt an issue w/ cells. Replace queens at earliest convenience.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 06:15:34 PM »

It seems doubtful to me that a weak hive would build swarm cells.  I vote for a supersedure.  Even if I believed they were swarm cells, I always make sure both halves of the split have queen cells.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2009, 04:12:09 PM »

It seems doubtful to me that a weak hive would build swarm cells.  I vote for a supersedure.  Even if I believed they were swarm cells, I always make sure both halves of the split have queen cells.


Or may a 3 or 4 way split to utlilize the queen cells and insure hvaing a queen after.  Thoe that go queenless can then be combinded back.

Supercedure cells are often where you find them, in the hive high, low, middle it doesn't always matter.  I've seen just as many suprcedures take place from "swarm" cells as not.  Just depend on where the eggs are when they decide to do it.  Sometimes a queen the workers want to supercedure doesn't always cooperate by laying eggs in a queen cup.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 07:07:57 AM »

Swarm cells are many times triggered by an instinct of nature dictated by flow, and not necessarily on sole factors such as strength.

And some bees, such as AHB's, will swarm up to 18 times a year in warm climates. Strength has nothing to do with it. It is perpetuation of the species and predicated on programming over millions of years. And one of the strongest factors in swarming is flow.

This can be seen in the fact that 20% of all swarms in the northeast is done in September and on the fall flow. Why would bees cast off swarms in September when such swarms have absolutely NO chance of surviving? Mother nature is not that stupid. But she is programmed sometimes. And so we take warm region bees, put them in the north, and they are still programmed to swarm upon flow stimulation. And like magic...they swarm in September.

Just something to consider..... Wink
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