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Author Topic: Do you honestly have to pick out queen cells all the time during swarm season?  (Read 2385 times)

Offline Snakey

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I mean is there any way around it? I'll go through my hives every two weeks if it must be done but they propolize the frames pretty hard and I don't want to bother them any more than I absolutely have to. I have some colonies that are young, installed this past April, and when I peeked inside recently the one hive was full of swarm cells. It has been raining for three days but when weather permits I'll try to figure out if they have already swarmed and I'll take some measures to prevent multiple swarms. If they have not already swarmed I plan to split them. We have mild winters and I'll make sure they don't starve.

So anyway...what do I need to expect in the future, like next spring? Do I have to really spend that much time preventing swarms, or can I try to make it nice and roomy in those hives and then take a few weeks off?

Offline buzzbee

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If you have a crowded hive and queen cells,move the old queen along with a couple frames of bees and brood into an empty hive.This will relieve the urge to swarm somewhat and lessen the chances of ending up queen less. Which is what will happen if you remove all queen cells and your hive swarms anyways.
 A healthy colony wants to swarm,that is there goal from day one,as this is how bees propogate their species.

Offline 2Sox

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Michael Bush has a great deal written on his site about swarm prevention.  You might want to take a look.  The two methods he mentions - which both seem to work - are "opening the brood nest" and "checkerboarding".  I have not been able to find much written about checkerboarding.  At least there are no step by step instructions that I was able to find anywhere.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline AllenF

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I try to give them room to grow.   If the swarm, they swarm.   I put out traps and by mid march try to watch the trees for them.   

Offline buzzbee

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George Imrie also has quite en extensive online library about this and many other topics:
http://pinkpages.chrisbacherconsulting.com/Alphabetical_index.html

Offline buzzbee

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Check out the stickied topics in the reprint article section?
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/board,56.0.html

Offline Snakey

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Thanks everyone. The checkerboarding method makes sense. I'll keep it in mind and try to keep my hives sufficiently "checkerboarded" and see what happens. What was said about separating the queen with some frames is exactly what I was thinking of doing, if she's still around. I think every rainy day that goes by is making them more ornery, even more so if it is frustrating their swarming efforts, and I'm scared that they will be mad as hell when I go in there to deal with them!

Offline kathyp

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the other thing is...if you keep knocking off those queen cells and they swarm anyway, you have left your hive queenless.  better to deal with it another way.  in a really big hive, in addition to moving the queen, you can take queen cells and make an additional nuc.  you don't want to overly weaken your big hive, but a couple of splits off a big one will insure that you don't lose everything.  best done on a mature hive early in the year when the impulse to swarm is strong.   extra hives, extra queens....
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Online Jim 134

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Michael Bush has a great deal written on his site about swarm prevention.  You might want to take a look.  The two methods he mentions - which both seem to work - are "opening the brood nest" and "checkerboarding".  I have not been able to find much written about checkerboarding.  At least there are no step by step instructions that I was able to find anywhere.

"opening the brood nest" Is in the brood nests


"checkerboarding" is in the honey supers 



         BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
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Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

Offline blanc

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I have done what Micheal Bush recommends on opening up the brood hive with empty frames twice this season and they take care of things on their own. No swarm and booming healthy hive. The queen cells just disappear one their own.
Psalm 19:9-10
The fear of the Lord is clean,enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea ,than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Offline annette

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Opening up the brood nest per Michael Bush's instructions have kept my hives from swarming. It has worked all these years, except this year when the hives built up really fast and early and I wasn't on top of it all. We had a mild winter and I never realized the bees were building up so early.

But placing empty frames in between frames of brood like this: Brood, Brood, Empty, Brood, Brood, Empty has worked for me. This is all on Michael Bush's website.


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

Good Luck
Annette

Offline ShaneJ

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What do you do with the frames you take out? Put another box on top with those frames in it along with empty frames?
Shane

Offline sterling

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Michael Bush has a great deal written on his site about swarm prevention.  You might want to take a look.  The two methods he mentions - which both seem to work - are "opening the brood nest" and "checkerboarding".  I have not been able to find much written about checkerboarding.  At least there are no step by step instructions that I was able to find anywhere.
Walt Wright the guy who came up with the checkerboarding idea sells a manuscript for about $11 that explains checkerboarding. You can do a google searce on Walt Wright and find his address. The information in the manuscript is worth the reading weather or not you do the checkerboarding.

Offline KD4MOJ

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Michael Bush has a great deal written on his site about swarm prevention.  You might want to take a look.  The two methods he mentions - which both seem to work - are "opening the brood nest" and "checkerboarding".  I have not been able to find much written about checkerboarding.  At least there are no step by step instructions that I was able to find anywhere.

"opening the brood nest" Is in the brood nests


"checkerboarding" is in the honey supers 



         BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)

Fat Bee man checkerboards the brood box. That makes more sense.

Checkerboarding BeeHive Fat Bee Man


...DOUG
KD4MOJ

Offline 2Sox

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Great video. Thanks.  The Fat Bee Man is awesome.  Thing to remember is that for every full frame in the bottom box, there must be an empty frame above it. That's where the "checker-boarding" comes from.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline Snakey

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What do you do with the frames you take out? Put another box on top with those frames in it along with empty frames?

Yes that's the idea, or you could use them in a split. After the brood grows up they should fill the frames with honey if they are above a queen excluder.

Guess what, it's rainy and cloudy again, so I still can't go into my hives.  :-x
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 01:54:16 PM by Snakey »

Online Michael Bush

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The end result of removing queen cells is a queenless hive.  And that is discounting the effort and time involved.  It is most certainly not worth the effort in my experience.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline Caelansbees

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Snakey, where are you in MD?  I'm in Frederick co and our flow seems to be done and my queens have slowed to a near standstill.
I have plenty of room in all my boxes and I still have them refusing to stay inside.  It has been quite muggy so I know it must be hard for them to regulate the hive.  Add that up to nothing to forage and you get lots of board bees hanging out...

Online Jim 134

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Michael Bush has a great deal written on his site about swarm prevention.  You might want to take a look.  The two methods he mentions - which both seem to work - are "opening the brood nest" and "checkerboarding".  I have not been able to find much written about checkerboarding.  At least there are no step by step instructions that I was able to find anywhere.

"opening the brood nest" Is in the brood nests


"checkerboarding" is in the honey supers  



         BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)

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


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


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/