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Author Topic: Getting ready to swarm  (Read 1459 times)
tejas
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« on: April 24, 2005, 10:46:02 PM »

It seems one of my hives is bound and determined to swarm. This hive was started last spring. The hive consists of an opened screened bottom board, slatted rack, two deep broad chambers, a top shim for ventilation and two medium honey supers. Even though the hive is very large; I would tend to think they should have adequate room.  I guess I waited to long to put on the honey supers because in the last two weeks I have removed around 6-10 queen cells. Is a swarm inevitable or will they eventually stop building queen cells? Also, I did not requeen, I was intending to wait till fall. The hives queen is clipped so if they do swarm and I can recover it can I recombine them with the original hive with the newspaper method outlined in Beekeeping for Dummies?
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2005, 08:13:11 AM »

Tejas -

if you have the equiptment -- you can try to make a split now and order a new queens.  

Someone told me that the bees don't swarm because of lack of space - it's becuase there are too many nurse bees with nothing to do.  The hive has built up fast,  naturally these young bees are ready too make wax and royal jelly without the young larve  to use it.  kind of a supply and demand situation.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2005, 08:21:46 AM »

Later in the season swarming may be about overcrowding, but early in the season it's to reproduce.  Hive swarm because it's their job to perpetuate the species.  They swarm for the same reason mammals mate.  Once they've made up their mind, in my experience, it's a waste of time to try to stop them.  I just help them do it.  In fact you can get a lot of nice queens out of it.  Take each frame that has any queen cells on it and put it in a nuc with another frame of brood and a frame of honey and pollen and let them have a new queen.  If you want more, cut the cells out when you have multiple cells on one frame and put each of them in a nuc too.  I love swarm queens.  They are well feed and well taken care of.  I like putting the old queen in one of the splits and leave one queen cell in the old hive for their queen.  Then after swarm season is over you can use those queens to requeen any hive you want and recombine as many of the splits as you like.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2005, 03:52:29 PM »

Try using a Snelgrove board you can find information in this method in “Hive Management “ by Richard Bonney. Also a book by L.E Snelgrove available thru Betterbee out of NY . He wrote the book probably in the 30's he wrote about many ways to prevent and control swarming. He is still considered the leading authority on the subject. the name of his book is SWARMING its control & pervention
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tejas
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2005, 07:17:40 PM »

I didn’t want to split this hive, with the goal being to get as much honey as possible. I guess I will go ahead and do a split. I have a lot of question so here goes.

1.Splitting this early in the season should I still get a surplus of honey?
2. I have already put medium honey supers on this hive. I guess just pull them back off? (They have very little build up so far.  Just been on for a week)
3. Because of my equipment limitations I will have to use one deep and two medium supers for the new hive, will this be all right?
4. After splitting should I start feeding both hives again?
5.Should I use the shook swarm method out lined in Beekeeping for Dummies or just pull out all frames with queen cells and put them in new hive with a frame of honey and replace them with new frames in the old hive? (I had rather not dump all the bees out on the ground if possible as outlined in the shook swarm method.)

Thanks in advance for the help.
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tejas
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2005, 10:39:56 PM »

I just watched the video on “Suppressing Intense Swarm Tendency” on the requeening thread and think I will give this a try. Has anyone used this method and had success with it?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2005, 08:35:28 AM »

If it was me and I really wanted a crop I'd split it now and put the split right next to the original.  Two week before the flow (the end of May woudl be two weeks before the flow here) I'd set up a new stand in a different location, completely tear down BOTH hives and move ALL the open brood AND all the honey and one of the queens to that stand.  Then I'd set up a new stand directly between the old locations and put all the capped brood in there with one of the queens and several empty supers.  All the foragers will return to the old hive (the one hive that is now between where the old ones were).  All the foragers leaving the new hive will also return to the old location and all of the nurse bees left on the capped brood and all of the emerging brood will be available to make a crop.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2005, 09:12:36 AM »

That’s what I like about this forum, the suggestion that Michael has is brilliant I will write that one down.
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tejas
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2005, 09:02:35 PM »

Thanks, for the help Micheal.
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