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Author Topic: Just let them swarm?  (Read 2402 times)
tlynn
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« on: March 14, 2010, 09:56:33 AM »

I live in a suburban area with neighbors all around.  I have six hives in the back yard, mostly the result of splits trying to manage keeping them from swarming, but I feel I'm definitely at my limit with where I live.  Three of the hives are very strong with clouds of bees doing orientation flights lately.  those three hives have multiple queen cells in the larval stage.  I've got one brood box from one hive that just was robbed out and will add it to one of the hives today, but they may already be set on swarming, so I don't know if it will matter.  I don't want to pinch out the queen cells as I've read it's a bad practice and can lead to queenless hives.  I don't have the inclination to go out and buy more brood boxes either.

So is there any other way to switch off the swarm mode without giving them more real estate?  And how much of a setback could it be to just let them swarm considering these hives are packed with brood and bees?  Another thought is where they are going to end up.  In a neighbor's yard, no doubt!

And one of the hives is rather testy.  Should I just eliminate its queen and see what I get with one of the new ones they're making?  Will that stop swarm mode?  There's plenty of drones.
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CBEE
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2010, 10:45:15 AM »

I would not just let them swarm if I could help it. That swarm may end up making a home some where that your neighbors don't want them and flip out about it. You could always make some nucs and sell them.
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2010, 02:56:20 PM »

Could pull those brood frames with queen cells and add them to nucs or make splits.

Give the hive with attitude several chances to show you their absolute consistent colors because they could become much nicer depending on what's going on in the inner workings of that hive.

You can't just let them swarm out as CBEE said, could wind up just about anywhere.


...JP
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2010, 03:22:53 PM »

  Will that stop swarm mode?  .

If the hive has swarming cells, only way to cut the swarming is a false swarm

Move the hive 10 feets.
Put in the old site a new hive which has foundations, one larva frame and a queen.
Old bees move to the foundation hive and start to draw combs. They think that they have swarmed.

The brood hive will be short of bees and is not able to swarm.

To get yield you should join the hive parts to get nurser bees and foragers into balance.



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DBoire
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2010, 04:23:07 PM »

make splits and sell,.. Why not?
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2010, 04:23:57 PM »

  Will that stop swarm mode?  .

If the hive has swarming cells, only way to cut the swarming is a false swarm

Move the hive 10 feets.
Put in the old site a new hive which has foundations, one larva frame and a queen.
Old bees move to the foundation hive and start to draw combs. They think that they have swarmed.

The brood hive will be short of bees and is not able to swarm.

To get yield you should join the hive parts to get nurser bees and foragers into balance.





Finski, what about the virgins in the parent hive? And the mated queen of that hive? What happens in the moved parent hive at that point?

Seems you would still have swarms.


...JP
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2010, 04:44:06 PM »

There is a drastic shortage of bees this year. People are begging to buy nucs. Solve your problem by putting a few hundred bucks in your pocket.
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tlynn
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2010, 04:49:48 PM »

So should I just leave alone the hive I added the brood box to and then pull queen cell frames from the other two and put into nucs?  The one that got the second brood box has 100% drawn out comb to work.  Will that one switch off from swarm mode or do I still need to simulate a swarm as Finski suggested?
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2010, 05:11:27 PM »

Absolutely split and sell the nucs. Put the word out to your local bee club and price them appropriately.  They will love you for it.
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JP
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2010, 05:51:08 PM »

Generally speaking you want to move brood comb with queen cells from the parent colony and place them in your nucs. Typically, when splitting the parent colony, you move the mated queen as well.

I can only guess that with Finski's method one of three things could happen.

1) the parent colony swarms and there are even afterswarms. This I would expect, but not really sure as I haven't tried simply moving a colony ready to swarm to another location, but he has me thinking.

 3) Virgins hatch out and fight it out, perhaps mated queen is killed by bees or a virgin. Still seems you could have at least one swarm.

4) bees tear down all queen cells and keep the mated queen.


Finski, please give more feedback, thanks!


...JP
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iddee
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2010, 06:50:24 PM »

JP, what I garnered from Finski is.. Move the parent hive, take the queen from it with a brood frame or two, and mostly new foundation back to the original location. The returning foragers would find their known queen and build the hive back on the new foundation.
The parent hive would let the first emerging queen take over and destroy the other cells.
It sounds like a workable idea to me.
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JP
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2010, 09:38:05 PM »

Iddee, that makes sense.


...JP
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2010, 10:53:13 PM »

Get them set up in pairs and right after the flow starts, do combines.  You'll get a lot more honey from a strong hive than a weak one and if you split to prevent swarming, you can always combine right at the flow or combine in the fall.  Take any of the smaller ones and combine with other smaller ones.  Just because you split to prevent swarming (not the only way to prevent swarming) doesn't mean you can't combine.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm

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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2010, 09:08:10 AM »

Generally speaking you want to move brood comb with queen cells from the parent colony and place them in your nucs. Typically, when splitting the parent colony, you move the mated queen as well.

I can only guess that with Finski's method one of three things could happen.

1) the parent colony swarms and there are even afterswarms. This I would expect, but not really sure as I haven't tried simply moving a colony ready to swarm to another location, but he has me thinking.

 3) Virgins hatch out and fight it out, perhaps mated queen is killed by bees or a virgin. Still seems you could have at least one swarm.

4) bees tear down all queen cells and keep the mated queen.


Finski, please give more feedback, thanks!


...JP

The idea is that laying  queen is in the foundation hive. It continues making brood and with laying queen false swarm is earger to draw foundation.

In the brood hive the queen cells emerge and kill each other that only one is left. There is no after swarms. It is rare.


 
Quote
3) Virgins hatch out and fight it out, perhaps mated queen is killed by bees or a virgin. Still seems you could have at least one swarm.

4) bees tear down all queen cells and keep the mated queen.

That is not possible because mated queen is in the new foundation hive and there is no queen cells.

If queen has been lost with cutted wing so you give to the false swarm hive a brood frame with queen cell.
Or if you do not find a laying queen give a queen cell into false swarm hive.





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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2010, 09:13:43 AM »

JP, what I garnered from Finski is.. Move the parent hive, take the queen from it with a brood frame or two, and mostly new foundation back to the original location. The returning foragers would find their known queen and build the hive back on the new foundation.
The parent hive would let the first emerging queen take over and destroy the other cells.
It sounds like a workable idea to me.

Iddee is right. It goes exactly that way.

Old queen and brood calm the foragers and they continue working. It the foundation hive has no brood frame, bees are very nervous and stop working.The queen has no place to continue laying.

Wen I have had crystallized honey combs, I put 3 combs to the false swarm. Bees clean quickly those frames and arrange room to queen to lay and they draw foundations. After one week the box is full of brood and they will be foragers in main flow.

*************

When you make nucs, put at least a piece of brood that bees feel the place to tgheir home. Queen is not enough to do that and bees want to escape from nuc.

.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 10:17:59 AM by Finski » Logged

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JP
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2010, 09:51:21 AM »

Finski, thanks for clarifying. It all makes sense now. Thanks Iddee.


...JP
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Finski
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2010, 10:59:41 AM »

.
Swarming preventing

When hive has queen cells, it will not give up swarming. Then use false swarm.

How to avoid swarming fewer, much used method is  lift brood over the excluder and give empty comb box to the queen.

You move brood and food up and then the queen has whole box to be layed.

This method is common used in USA and Australia - at least.

http://maarec.psu.edu/pdfs/Swarm_Prev_Control_PM.pdf

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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2010, 12:50:43 PM »

tlynn,
I've got the same situation, 6 hives, suburbs.  I still end up with a swarm or two, but using the above techniques keep them mostly controlled.  Some of it is not quite being on top of the "keeping the swarm urge away", it is a matter of keeping the hives just a little bit weaker than ideal, as the others have described.  And you can always combine later or try 2 queens in a hive.

There are a lot of opinions about hive strength and honey production, but I'd rather have a weaker hive and less honey than having a neighbor putting the kibosh on my "operations".  But even still they produce more than enough honey, so that isn't much of an issue.

Rick
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Rick
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2010, 01:29:46 PM »

I have a similar situation.  I built 10 deep frame nucs this winter in anticipation of potential swarming.   And I don't mind putting some coin in my pocket at the same time!

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tlynn
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2010, 08:14:13 AM »

I appreciate all the advice.  I know many would keep doing splits and selling them, etc, but that's not an investment of time I want to make.  Hoping not to offend anyone here - it's a hobby I enjoy, but not a money maker and I'm cool with that.  The profits I get are sitting by the window at breakfast watching them.

On the other hand, I agree I have to be a good steward in the neighborhood.  I have a friend who brought over a brood box from his hive that died over the winter and I am going to combine it with one hive.  I now have one more free nuc so plan to pull queen cell frames from the other hive .  Hopefully this will keep these hives from throwing off swarms this year.  And I will have to strategize for the future it looks like.
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