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Author Topic: Swarm Warning?  (Read 1361 times)
Wombat
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« on: April 08, 2005, 07:12:41 PM »

Other than the time of year itself, are there any really tell-tale signs that will signal when a hive is about to swarm? I'm out at the hive pretty much every day, and certainly have noticed a change in hive dynamic and energy over the last week or so...

...but still new to this. Should I be looking for warning signs?

thanks
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Lesli
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 11:17:31 PM »

Before my strong hive swarmed last year, I noticed a drop off in the number of foragers. And when I listened closely, I heard what I have described as virgin queens "piping."

Open the hive and look for swarm cells. That's definitive.
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Jay
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2005, 11:32:31 PM »

If the swarm cells are capped, usually it's too late they're already gone! The drawers are all open and there's only one pair of mismatched socks left! cheesy
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2005, 06:03:53 AM »

As Jay pointed out,  if you find swarms cells, it it usually too late.  Even if they are not capped, they are in swarm mode and it will be hard to stop them.

Best thing to do is not to wait for signs of swarming, but be ahead of them and do your best to prevent.   Make sure they have plenty of room, especially in the brood area.  You can also reduce the tendency by seperating the brood from the field bees with a double screened board (Snellgrove method).
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Wombat
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2005, 04:10:31 PM »

Well, bummer...

What do swarm cells look like in relation to the others, so I'll know what to look for? I'll pop open in the hive and take a look...

cheers
wombat
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2005, 04:33:23 PM »

They are peanut shaped cells usually along the bottom of the frame.


click image for larger view
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