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Author Topic: First Attempt at Artifical Swarm  (Read 1002 times)
derrick1p1
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« on: April 01, 2009, 06:19:29 PM »

Hello All,
Before I jump right into my question, just fyi, all my hives swarmed last year.  So I'm trying like mad to prevent this from happening again.

Hive #1 already swarmed over a week ago, only found one swarm cell and cannot find her.  Lots of crazy weather so she may have gotten lost.?. Anyhow, still no evidence of virgin queen (unless she hasn't started laying and is waiting to mate),bees were agitated. 

Checked another hive (#2), they very strong, lots of brood and eggs, bees in good mood.  I opened up brood nest and found a couple of swarm cells.  Instead of starting a nuc, I decided to give several frames of honey,brood and all swarm cells to the weakened queenless hive to prevent laying workers.

Of course, what's done is done, but do you think this was the right approach?  I may have other hives that have started cells.  Haven't been able to get into them due to all of the cool raining weather lately.

Should I look for anything other than the obvious (presence of queen in each hive).

Is it still possible to get any surplus honey from either hive (our flow begins in about 30 days).?

Thanks for any pointers or advice!
Derrick
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2009, 07:26:12 PM »

You'll have to pull more than a frame or two out of a hive planning to swarm to change their mind.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#swarmcontrol
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Rich V
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2009, 07:46:35 PM »

Is it your fear that the stronger colony is going to swarm? You could interchange the two hives. By doing this, the field bees in the stronger colony will return to the weaker colony. This may trick the strong colony into thinking that they already swarmed. I tried it last year and it worked for me.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2009, 08:00:05 AM »

MB's "swarm split" is exactly what I did this past Saturday.

My strongest hive has 2 deeps and one medium and was full of bees/brood/pollen/honey.  I only saw one cell that looked like a queen cell but is was really small.  But since they didn't have room to grow, I moved 5 frames including the old queen to a new deep.

Keeping a daily check, both the old and new hives are doing great so far!   Graduating nurse bees from the new hive are beginning to take orientation flights and forage.  The old hive seems to have never missed a beat.  No upset bees or agitation even though their queen was gone!
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 01:18:20 PM by Two Bees » Logged

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Two Bees
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2009, 08:05:42 AM »

Interesting thing about the decision to swarm.

Who makes that call...........house bees, field bees, or a combination?

Certainly not the queen!  She's seems to be just along for the ride.
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"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
derrick1p1
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2009, 10:22:30 AM »

Thanks for the pointers.  I removed 5 full frames, including all queen cells from the strong hive.  I also added a medium and put an empty frame between all full frames to open up the brood nest.  I think I may also trade locations of these 2 hives to maybe make them think they have swarmed.
Thanks again! 
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BoBn
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2009, 03:29:41 PM »

Interesting thing about the decision to swarm.

Who makes that call...........house bees, field bees, or a combination?

Certainly not the queen!  She's seems to be just along for the ride.

In Allen Latham's 1949 Bee Book he speculated that it is the guard/housekeeper bees that get the swarming process started.
I can't post the url, but you can look here:
books.google.com/books?id=42VHAAAAMAAJ&dq=allen+latham+bee+book&q=guard&pgis=1#search_anchor
by pasting the line in your browser address bar.

 
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tlynn
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2009, 03:52:21 PM »

Is it your fear that the stronger colony is going to swarm? You could interchange the two hives. By doing this, the field bees in the stronger colony will return to the weaker colony. This may trick the strong colony into thinking that they already swarmed. I tried it last year and it worked for me.

Rick, do you mean switching locations?  What if my hives are different colors?  Switch out all the frames? 

Tracy
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Rich V
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2009, 06:16:39 PM »

Just interchange the hives. Take say hive #1 the stronger colony, move it to the exact location of hive #2 a weaker colony. Take hive #2 and put it where #1 use to be. All the field bees from hive 1 will return to their original location, but it will be a different hive. Since it's the field bee that have the most problems accepting a new queen. I moved all the frames with queen cell in hive 1 and put them in hive 2 and they raised their own queen. This will set both colony's back some. The original weaker #2 will have field bees but no queen. Number 1 will have a queen but few field bees. This would also be a good time to re-queen 1 if the conditions are favorable. I did this in May of last year and it saved me a swarm I'm sure. Both colony's had a surplus of honey.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2009, 08:13:21 AM »

Bobn,

That would be my guess as well.  I can just imagine the conversation:

Forager Bee:  How long is it going to take you to lift this load off of me?  I don't get paid for hanging around, you know!

House Bee:  Well, what do you want me to do about it!  You can just wait your turn and we'll get to you!

Nurse Bee:  Hey, it's getting really crowded in here.  The ole lady is laying her butt off (so to speak)!

Forager Bee:  Coming through!  Coming through!  Move aside! 

House Bee:  And where are you going with that nectar! 

Forager Bee:  I don't know but my instructions were to bring this stuff back here and give it to you gals!

Guard Bee:  Hey, will someone quit pushing me out of the door!  We need to either get more room or move somewhere else.  I think the big dummy that dresses like Devo calls it "supering"!

House Bee:  Well, if we put the fat girl on a diet, we can all leave in a few days!  Someone start packing a new egg with royal jelly and we'll get out of here!

And so on.........and so on!

 

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"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
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