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Author Topic: When does swarm season end?  (Read 803 times)
RHBee
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« on: April 29, 2013, 12:24:11 AM »

Title says it all. I need a little breathing room.  Smiley
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Ray
tefer2
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 08:37:44 AM »

After all the bees have swarmed, or at least think they have! grin



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10framer
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 08:44:13 AM »

ray, i've caught them as late as june down here.  that doesn't give them much time to build up. 
i had several calls in september last year but i'm sure that was because of beetles.  i didn't have the equipment to hive those bees and since they absconded i'm not really sure i even wanted them. 
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danno
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 08:44:50 AM »

swarm season here stops when it starts snowing about Nov. and starts when stops about May
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L Daxon
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 10:14:11 AM »

While prime swarm season is from mid-April to early June here in Oklahoma, there was a news report on TV this year about a swarm about the middle of March.  Three years ago I caught one of my own swarms on Sept. 6. and pampered it through the winter.   I think they can swarm just about anytime it is warm enough for them to really be flying and they feel to need to "get out of Dodge."  
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 03:01:12 PM by L Daxon » Logged

linda d
RHBee
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 10:48:08 AM »

Well alrighty then. How do you stop swarming? I have tried everything I know of. I appreciate the increase I have enjoyed but I need some time to catch up.
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Ray
10framer
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013, 11:28:22 AM »

space management and cutting down queen cups.  if you wait til they are capped you may have waited too long.
i've got three hives that are russian or at least russian hybrids (actually 5 now, i split a couple of them).  
the queens will lay wall to wall and top to bottom.  these were 5 frame medium nucs in january.  two of them are one deep and two mediums tall now and i pulled a 5 frame nuc off of one of those and the other is a full medium plus a 5 frame nuc.  i've been pulling frames off of the nuc to maintain a couple of queen rearing nuc populations and replacing them with foundation.  these bees are prolific layers and fast builders once the flow is on.
after i moved them from the nucs to 10 frame mediums (in february) i added deeps of foundation below them (a couple of weeks ago) and mediums above them.  i put an excluder between the mediums on one hive.  those bees drew the deep out really fast and the other hive moved up instead.  
the bulk of my experience is with italians and that is followed by the non-existant "black bees" that used to be everywhere.
so far a lot of what i've read about russians seems to be true.  once the queen turns on you have to stay ahead of her.
my italian hives have produced more honey so far and have the queens more contained.  they also don't mind the excluder as much.
so, i'm going to say since you're running russians based off of my experience so far the best way to control the swarming is going to be a lot of manipulation of the brood chambers.
that's my 2 cents.  but keep in mind this my first year dealing with russians.

rob

  
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RHBee
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2013, 11:53:18 AM »

Rob, thanks. I'm limited some what by my work schedule. I'm gonna get in touch with some of the people in the Russian Project maybe they can explain how to manage this breed. I'll pass along what i can find out.
I would like to do fall splits so I can requeen and force a broodless period near the end of July. It all falls under varroa control. Broodless I can trickle oxalic and expect good results.
I'm just trying to plan ahead and the bees aren't cooperating. Right now to meet my time table I should be feeding in order to build up for the main flow which I'm pretty sure starts about now here.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 12:11:40 PM by Ray Bayless » Logged

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Ray
10framer
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2013, 12:15:01 PM »

if the hives you have are covering all the frames with bees super them.  tulip poplars were starting to open yesterday.  this front should have slowed them down today but by tomorrow the bees will be finding them and after that it's a race.  if they have plenty of room when the big flow turns on they may start focusing more on building up stores than swarming. the workers have to outpace the queen is what i'm seeing.  i expect to have a better feel for these bees by this time next year but so far i've avoided swarms and increased my numbers off of nucs and still expect to get a pretty good harvest when i didn't plan on pulling any honey this year.  but, i've had to spend a lot of time going through brood chambers to do all this.  if i had 200 hives it would be hard to pull this off. 
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hardwood
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2013, 03:45:08 PM »

Personally, I would never suggest removing swarm cells but rather removing the queen. If you kill all of the cells and they swarm anyway you will have a queenless hive.

Scott
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D Coates
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 04:50:43 PM »

Heck, I'm wanting to know when it starts... grin.  It's supposed to be in the 40's and rainy on Wednesday here. 

The latest I've gotten a swarm call was in late September.
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RHBee
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 05:23:54 PM »

Personally, I would never suggest removing swarm cells but rather removing the queen. If you kill all of the cells and they swarm anyway you will have a queenless hive.

Scott

Thanks Scott,
Once my hives got populated enough and prior to any of them swarming I performed splits. Before that I swapped the position of the brood chamber boxes top and bottom.  I had read that this is another way to control the swarming instinct because it opens up room for the queen to lay.  After that and when I saw swarm cells I tried the shook swarm method. After that I have removed queen cells.
It must be my timing, my inexperience or ignorance. I would really like to be more in control of the situation. I feel control is the difference between having bees and keeping bees.
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Ray
bailey
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2013, 05:49:08 PM »

Your worrying too much. Work all you like and you will still have swarms.  It's part of beekeeping.
Do what you can and catch the rest.
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
RHBee
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 01:43:13 PM »

Your worrying too much. Work all you like and you will still have swarms.  It's part of beekeeping.
Do what you can and catch the rest.

bailey thanks. I was under the impression that swarming could be stopped. I have been to other web sites that out and out say that irresponsible beekeeping is the reason for swarms. I kinda took it to heart. When I get involved in something it's "all in" I guess that's like OCD. Looks like I got one less thing to learn more about.
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Ray
Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 03:10:59 PM »

> I was under the impression that swarming could be stopped.

Sometimes...

> I have been to other web sites that out and out say that irresponsible beekeeping is the reason for swarms.

Sometimes.  Sometimes they just swarm.  It's how they reproduce.

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

There is no such thing as a foolproof swarm control method.
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Michael Bush
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L Daxon
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 03:15:29 PM »

Swarming is the girls' natural way of starting new colonies and they are genetically programed to do it.  While there are lots of techniques that can interrupt the process, there are times you just can't stop mother nature.  I am not too keen on the idea that if your hives swarm you are a bad beekeeper.  

And I strongly second Scott's opinion that it is not a good idea to destroy queen cells.  Put'em in a nuc to bank'em if you can, but like he said, if you destroy them and the girls swarm anyway you could be in a world of hurt, or at least be out the $$ to buy a new queen when you realize the old one left with the swarm.

Linda D.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 10:43:45 PM by L Daxon » Logged

linda d
RHBee
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 10:05:50 PM »

All you guys and gals are great. Yeah I was feeling pretty much like I had failed this spring. Poor planning, didn't know enough, I did my best to prevent swarms. They happened anyway I lost only 2 small secondary swarms one was barely the size of a softball. Thanks for the reality check.
Michael, I didn't try the brood or nectar manipulations. Looks like something to try next year. All my swarms were reprobuctive a couple had after swarms. I'll study up to get more comfortable with the concept.
Thanks to all, again.
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Later,
Ray
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