Did you just leave the queen cells? Smash them? You don't just let them swarm do you?
I decided to leave the queen cells. I figure to let the bees sort things out. I'm pretty ill prepared. One thing I'm not gonna do is panic over this. I'm going into my third year, still have a lot to learn. Last year I tried cutting QC's and learned that this does nothing to stop the swarming instinct. At worst you could create a queenless condition, ask me how I know.
Sounds good RHBee. Did you feed for a build up? Or just let them do what bees do.
Dan, I didn't do squat for spring feeding. I made sure that each colony had a full medium of honey going into winter by feeding 2-1 if needed, they did the rest.
I just know I'm gonna loose my bees now :'( If I do a split and put the queen in a super with a queen excluder at the top and bottom would that keep them from swarming?
Gary, I had so many swarms last year I was about ready to quit. I wintered 6 colonies in 2012 and 13 in 2014. The product of healthy colonies is a strong swarm instinct. My problems stem from a lack of preparation partly from my ignorance and partly from circumstances. Lesson learned, start prepping for next year in August. You never know what's going to happen in December and January.
ray, i'd split nucs out of the hives with queen cells. you control the size of the swarm that way. a deep frame of honey, a deep frame of emerging brood, a deep frame of open brood and an empty comb. the queen goes with the nuc and i wouldn't shake any extra bees.
Rob, I'm just going to take the hit and put out traps. From what I understand, properly mated swarm queens are the best you can get. Looks like my goals have changed. This year concentrate on transitioning all to mediums, building up my 6 new packages, getting drawn comb and maintaining healthy colonies. I doubt there will be much of a honey crop but who knows.
Puts Ray about on what I figured or maybe a week earlier. My swarm season is usually last of March or first week of April. Subtract about 9 days for the development of the cell and swarm. I am about 150 miles North of Ray and figure he should be 2-3 weeks ahead of me. The terrain and temps change significantly in that 150 miles.
My hives are nowhere near that strong now but I don't supplement feed I just leave honey. Something I may need to re-evaluate. Maybe supplement with honey. My coming out of winter cluster seem to always be small and usually don't build up as fast as I would like. This hurts in my very short season with no fall flow.
Steve, The QC I saw were capped. This means that I'm almost two weeks ahead of last year if my memory serves correctly. I expected to have a little more time but, oh well. I'm not being pessimistic, this means I'm doing something right if my colonies are healthy enough to build up this quick. The only thing that really suffers is honey production and I'm not in this for the money, yet.
I've beaten SHB, wax moths, mites and laying workers now if I can condition myself things will progress better. The season could turn out great. Swarms do draw out wax like crazy.
It's taking a while for me to learn the seasons of the bees. Keeping bees alive and healthy is a matter of applying certain methods that are proven to work. Learning to manage bees feels more like an art and looks like it takes time.