Okay, I decided upon Buckfast packages this spring because of our harsh winters here in Vermont. The literature said that Buckfast have a "low-tendency to swarm." Yea, right. Out of 3 new hives from spring packages, I' have had AT LEAST 4 swarms since the beginning of the month, and I think those came out of only 2 hives.
I recaptured 2 swarms last night, and they did have their queens, in spite of the fact that my packages had clipped wings. (The hive that I believe this swarm came out of had overthrown the original queen about a week ago, as she was dead in front of the hive.)
After my swarm 3 weeks ago, I went in the hive and made sure they had plenty of stores, bees, and space left, and that all seemed fine. (I recombined that swarm with the weakest of the 3 newest colonies.)
Now, I have a million questions, but my biggest one is this: Will these bees keep this swarming behavior up next year to the extent that I will never be able to get a good honey crop from them, despite checkerboarding and ample space provisions?
I've also read some of you talking about mean successor generations of Buckfasts... are we talking a bit mean or downright nasty?
Really, what it boils down to is... how imperative is it that I requeen this fall or next spring?