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Author Topic: swarm prevention question  (Read 677 times)
derrick1p1
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« on: March 11, 2009, 02:33:47 PM »

I am trying my best to prevent swarming.  Last year I only increased hive "size" by adding mediums, but did not keep the brood nest "open".  Following Michael Bush's advice (http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm), I am doing my best to keep the brood nest open.  I did this to all but 1 hive last weekend, using foundationless frames as a way to keep the nest open.

How often do I need to check for swarm cells and making sure they are open?

I have the time each weekend, but don't want to do more than is necessary either when I could be putting equipment together. 

Any inspection/timeline suggestions would be great....I'd rather keep my bees where they are Smiley
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Daddys Girl
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 03:49:25 PM »

Do you have indications that they are getting ready to swarm?  Are you set to do a split to a nuc, if you get swarm cells? 

Strong hive does not equal hive about to swarm.

But also remember that bees swarm as a means of propagating the species.  It's not a matter of preventing the swarming activity, but managing it when it happens.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 06:18:18 PM »

How often depends on the strength of the hive, the volume, the time of year etc.  But in a strong hive in prime swarm season, you might need to check every week for just a few weeks.  After the main flow starts, you can just pile on the supers.
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Michael Bush
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derrick1p1
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 01:07:28 PM »

Thanks for the advice!  It helps provide some more direction.  I noticed some replacing emerged brood with honey, so I'm thinking they may be on there way.  I opened up nest, but will check again this weekend.  I am also getting equipment ready and have been reading on what to do if I must split.  I know that swarming is a natural tendancy, so if it I have to prevent it, at least I will know my hives are healthy....otherwise they wouldn't be able to do so.

I suppose if I do a split, can I go back and combine before the main flow to get more honey, or would this be counter productive?  May be another question for another day.

Thanks again,
Derrick
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WayneW
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 01:37:52 PM »

I suppose if I do a split, can I go back and combine before the main flow to get more honey, or would this be counter productive?  May be another question for another day.

Going into my second year here myself, but IMO, if you split, you will have another hive........ with a queen. If she's a good queen (good brood pattern, calm/nonaggressive) why would you want to combine? Next year that new hive might very well be your best producer. Besides, by combining it seems to me you would be recreating your "overcrowding" situation all over.

Again, just a "new bee" opinion.
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