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Author Topic: swarming question  (Read 1366 times)
Apislacris
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Location: Mitchell, Manitoba Canada


« on: April 14, 2006, 05:04:14 PM »

Hello everybody,

I am new to beekeeping, so new in fact that I'm not even started!!

I will get 8  "400 super nuc with laying Queen" on June 1st. I will be in southern Manitoba, Canada, about 40 miles north of the Minessota border. The area is all farmland with predominant soy beans and canola cultures.

Should I expect these new colonies to swarm this summer? If yes, how many times can they swarm without making the colonies too weak to winterize?

I started building my brood boxes and supers and I would like to have an idea of the amount of each I should build.

Let's assume that the weather will be normal for the area, mostly hot and dry.

Thanks a million!!

More questions to come  Cheesy



Patrice
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amymcg
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2006, 05:30:20 PM »

They are probably not likely to swarm this year.  You might want to keep an eye on them for next year.  If they swarm this fall, well, the ones that swarm won't make it.  The ones that stay probably will.  Next year you should watch for swarms carefully.
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gsferg
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2006, 06:08:38 PM »

Not sure what a "400 super nuc" is, but I assume it's a more or less regular nuc, 4 or probably 5 frames. They might swarm this season if they build up well and from the sounds of your locatioin, they might do really well. I started 6 nucs last spring and at least one of them (that I know about) swarmed around the middle of July. It made it through the winter fine and is in fact my strongest hive this spring.

Usually hives won't swarm the first year because they're busy building, but it all depends on the circumstances- how strong they are, how early you start, and what kind of season you have. Best advice I can give you is stay ahead of them. By mid-summer they should be in 2 deeps or equivilent and they could start feeling tight if they run out of room for expansion in the brood nest area.

George-
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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"
thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2006, 06:21:42 PM »

Keep an eye on the brood nest.  If they are fillling it with honey, and the queen has no place to lay, they will begin preparations to leave.  Just assuming they won't swarm the first year is probably a mistake.  In areas of strong flows, it can happen pretty fast, and once started, it's hard to stop.  That's why just adding a super doesn't solve the problem.  Also, with the intense flow generated by canola, they can run out of room pretty fast.  Be proactive, not reactive, by makeing sure they are expanding the brood nest, not shrinking it, and they have room for nectar curing as they need it.  

Look for some of Finskis posts.  He builds up towering colonys and gives them lots of room to work rape seed in a very short time.
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Apislacris
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Location: Mitchell, Manitoba Canada


« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2006, 10:30:00 PM »

Thanks for the replies.

The super nuc is a 10 frames nuc with at least 3 frames of brood. I just spoke with the seller, a local,  and he told me that they will be prepared next week and the Queen will be laying like crazy comes June 1st. She will be supported by more than twice the bees normally found in a package.

I am building from scratch, the frames from the super that I will put on top will be completely empty, leaving a lot of space for the bees to draw the comb and fill them.

Patrice
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2006, 09:20:42 AM »

I overwintered a bunch of nucs this year.  One of the five frame, medium depth nucs was bursting with bees.  I inspected it and it had six capped queen cells and no queen.  Apparently they already swarmed.  Since there was alot of brood, I'd say this is an overcrowding swarm.  You can get an overcrowding swarm in any hive anytime if you let them run out of room.

This is distinguished from a reproductive swarm where they plan to swarm.  A reproductive swarm is not likely to happen unless the hive is established.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
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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
Jack Parr
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2006, 07:43:35 AM »

Quote from: Apislacris
Thanks for the replies.

The super nuc is a 10 frames nuc with at least 3 frames of brood. I just spoke with the seller, a local,  and he told me that they will be prepared next week and the Queen will be laying like crazy comes June 1st. She will be supported by more than twice the bees normally found in a package.

I am building from scratch, the frames from the super that I will put on top will be completely empty, leaving a lot of space for the bees to draw the comb and fill them.

Patrice


Patrice, check out    www.frenchbeefarm.com which might help for your area.
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