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  1. #1
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    Aug 2001
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    NY,USA
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    I learned some from the last posting so I thought I ought to throw this one out there at the risk of sounding not knowledgable. I only have about 10 hives and ever since I spotted the first cell with an egg in it this year I have been tearing down my hives and going through them frame by frame about every 7 days looking for and destroying queen cells. Occasionally I don't get to a hive for about 8 or 9 days. In one particular hive I have a queen 1 year old. Last week I found 3 fully capped cells with the sides tore out. This week same hive I found 1 fully capped with the side tore out. Both times I found fully capped cells that had not been destroyed also. Is it my year old queen killing them or what is going on?
    If she is going to kill them all then why am I tearing this hive down at all?
    I have done all the normal procedures of making sure they have plenty of room to lay and store honey and ventilation. I know that beekeepers with 50 or more hives cannot possibly go to all the trouble that I am to prevent swarming. So far I have not lost a swarm but am finding cells in all hives. By the way my oldest queen is the 1 year old. I would appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Roxboro N.C. U.S.A.
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    The key here will be to provide all your hives with ample room so the bee's don't feel crowded. when they begin to feel crowded they tend to want to go else where.You may also want to have another entrance at the top of the hives as well so they can come & go by 2 entrances.
    Also ya might wanna check into the strain of bee's you have. Some are far more likely to swarm then others. Good thing to do would be check your hives, in the hives that don't develop queen cells as much or as often, keep these hives as producers of your own queens.(take frames with fresh laid eggs & install them into a hive that swarms alot, find the queen while your doing this & kill her. the bee's will make a new queen strait away & you'll have a hive that doesn't tend to swarm as much. This of course slows the hive down some in it's production as you lose about 18 days of egg laying. But if your going to do this there are other ways to go about it as well so you lose no production at all. Also it is a good idea to get you a swarm box with pheremone in it placed near your yard, where, if you do have a swarm they may go there instead of leaving for some other place & you lose them. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    McGraw,NY,USA
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    582

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    Beeman01 I think that is a great idea ...I too have been bitten by swarm concerns, having only a few hives I dont want them heading for the woods.Would it be a good idea to do what you suggest above the queen excluder and perhaps lose less production time ?

  4. #4
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    Aug 2001
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    Roxboro N.C. U.S.A.
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    RAlex,
    not sure what your refering to by your question.please bee specific.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    NY,USA
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    Thanks for the advice. Sounds like good information though I have read a lot about this subject and some of my bees are Italian some carniolan some mixed. I have tried to follow the rules on swarm control (except for the queen replacement plan). Also I have asked advice from more serious bee keepers and they seem shy about sharing what they actually do. I am starting to believe that bees will swarm whatever I do. Seems like someone would just tell me exactly what they do especially when they have a hundred hives or more.
    Another question I have is if there are eggs in the hive when I tear it down does that mean they will not swarm? or does that just mean the old queen will not be leaving with them? Some say when they have a lot of hives they just tip back the supers to see if there are any queen cells on the bottoms of the frames then if found remove them. Will you not get a cell that hatches on the comb then? By the way all of my queens are clipped and marked.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2001
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    McGraw,NY,USA
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    Beemano01 I was asking if one took a frame of brood from a more gentle hive and placed it in the 2nd deep with a queen excluder between the first and second deep to get the bees to make a queen before killing the original queen if that wouldnt save some honey production while they made the new queen?That way you could kill the old queen just before the new queen hatched?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Roxboro N.C. U.S.A.
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    booda200 check your origonal message here for the (...) that i have added with my sugestions <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by boda200:
    Thanks for the advice. Sounds like good information though I have read a lot about this subject and some of my bees are Italian some carniolan some mixed. I have tried to follow the rules on swarm control (except for the queen replacement plan)......(Boda, carnies from what i have read are serious swarmers. although very good producers. not sure what your using for your set up but if your only using one hive body that is by far not enough ,, some will tell you to add 2 more hive bodies to the carny hives to control swarming.) Also I have asked advice from more serious bee keepers and they seem shy about sharing what they actually do.(everyone has there own opinion on how to do things & you will find a different answer from just about every person you talk to . my advise would bee to find somone to spend a good deal of time with & learn to trust they way they do things . the more time you spend the more you will learn . If not in direct answers to your questions then by seeing there practices). I am starting to believe that bees will swarm whatever I do.(a hives job is to produce & prosper , yes they will swarm & no matter what ya do with some hives they will anyway. Learn what the signs are in advance & use the bee's regular behavior to control what they do. I personally split a hive before it has a chance to swarm. Taking up to 4 frames off the parent hive with brood of different ages one frame beeing honey & pollen. & putting these into a nuc to start a new colony. Replace the frames taken with either fresh frames for them to draw out or preferably with frames that are already drawn.) Seems like someone would just tell me exactly what they do especially when they have a hundred hives or more.(most commerical keepers dont worry as much about swarming as the hobbiest as they work there bee's right from the jump to avoid the swarms by splitting & requeening regularly.
    Another question I have is if there are eggs in the hive when I tear it down does that mean they will not swarm? or does that just mean the old queen will not be leaving with them?( the old queen does not stay with the hive the new virgin queen stays in the hive & the older queen leaves to start the new hive somewhere else.Immediatly before a swarm occurs (3 or 4 days)the old queen will stop laying eggs & reduce her size in preperation to fly away. the only time in her life she will fly execpt for her mating trip as a virgin). Some say when they have a lot of hives they just tip back the supers to see if there are any queen cells on the bottoms of the frames then if found remove them. Will you not get a cell that hatches on the comb then?(most queen cells that are prepared for with the swarm in mind are made on the bottom of the frames of a hive.only if there is a supercedure in progress or in cases where the queen has been damaged or killed do they make a queen cell in the middle of a frame)(usually but not always). By the way all of my queens are clipped and marked.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    feel free to continue with any other questions you have about this or anything else . i'll be happy to give you my opinion but of course you must totally understand that , thats just exactly what it is . my opinion & there are thousands or others.
    Glad to help, beeman01.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Roxboro N.C. U.S.A.
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RAlex:
    Beemano01 I was asking if one took a frame of brood from a more gentle hive and placed it in the 2nd deep with a queen excluder between the first and second deep to get the bees to make a queen before killing the original queen if that wouldnt save some honey production while they made the new queen?That way you could kill the old queen just before the new queen hatched?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    ok here's the way i would do it if i were you RAlex.If you have a hive or hives that produce the way you like & are gentle & not very prone to swarming then 1st off get some nuc bodies. Then take 3 or 4 frames off each of the hives that you want to promote & put those into the nuc's. 2 frames of very young eggs with surrounding pollen & honey . & 1 or 2 frames of honey & pollen for them to live on.(you will also need to feed these nucs to keep them strong during all this as they will bee nursing & not have many field bee's in the hive for quite some time). Include with these frames the bee's that come out of the hive on those frames as they need those nurse bee's to take care of & keep the hive safe as they produce your queens.(MAKE SURE you don't remove the old queen on these frames with the split).Then after you have queen cells developed on the frames you can do alot of different things . 1 beeing just let the natural process progess & you will have a queen in 14 days, laying in 18 or 19.&lt;b&gt; Wait until you begin to see eggs being laid in the nuc to kill your older queen in the origonal hive & this way you can't lose because you know your putting in a new queen that is mated & already laying&lt;/b&gt;.(once there are eggs presant in the nuc you can just remove the queen & the whole process will start again producing another queen in the same nuc). The 2nd way would be to take each frame out of the nuc that has a queen cell on it & move that into another nuc & do the same thing. this will produce 2 or 3 queens off the same split.Those you can then introduce into your parent hives that have been working right along the whole time without any loss save a few nurse bee's. You must make sure that you kill the queen & any queen cells in the parent hive when you do this, if you can't get the queen out she will kill the new queen strait away.(put the new queen in a queen cage to move her into the new hive . bee ready to bee very carful doing this as she can be hurt very easily).The 3rd way to go about all this would bee to just go ahead & start rearing your own queens. Grafting eggs into queen cells that are made out of plastic. putting those into a queenless hive to be taken care of & raised as queens & then putting the mature queen cells(before hatching) into there own hives. This is the way most bigger operations do it as you can make many many queens from a single sitting with a couple of tools & a strong pair of glasses( or magnifying glass). Read up on this & don't let it intimidate you. It's not as hard as one would think.
    I'm not sure where waynesville N.C. is but i'm in Roxboro. maybee we will get together somtime & discuss this further.
    Any other questions don't hesitate to ask ok . glad to help, beeman01


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    NY,USA
    Posts
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    beeman01,
    Thanks again for all of the info. You have been about the most straight forward of anyone I have asked. Most of my bees are building cells on the comb and not on the bottom of the frames. However the queens seem to be thriving and I can't imagine why they would want to supercede her. So perhaps I should just let them go and only keep track of cells on the bottom of the frames and their behavior that indicates they may swarm. Since all of my queens are clipped they won't be going anywhere unless they kill her "most likely". I assume if she is doing well she will destroy the cells on the combs before they hatch?
    Also my hives have plenty of room 3 to 6 deep supers on most, I also offset the bodies for ventilation.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

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    Hi,

    Also my hives have plenty of room 3 to 6 deep supers on most, I also offset the bodies for ventilation.

    reply:

    How many BROOD CHAMBERS are you using? Are you using a queen excluder? Have you ever run unlimited brood nest type of management?

    Clay

  11. #11
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    Aug 2001
    Location
    NY,USA
    Posts
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    Normally 2 brood chambers. I have been letting my queens run free in the hive on some but just put excluders on to restrict her a little in the past few days. Do you let the queen have free run? I don't care if I have to wait for hatching to extract except that I am not experienced enough to call what kind of honey they are bringing in except for the Sunflower field that is across the road from my house.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    Hi,

    I have done all the normal procedures of making sure they have plenty of room to lay and store honey and ventilation.

    reply:

    Are you certain? I run three deep as brood chambers for carniolan stock. According to the old liturature this is how they were kept. If your queens naturally move up into honey supers they are saying WE NEED MORE ROOM. By keeping them in two brood chambers you are putting the squeeze on them. Work with the bees not against. If you have brood in all three deep look at the foraging force you will have.

    Do you let the queen have free run?

    reply:

    Yes. But I am always 95% certain she never goes above the third.

    Also When the third is plugged full of honey it eliminates feeding(most be opened open during active season). No close calls on winter stores. Bees come through winter very strong. And look at the work you save yourself and $$$ and time. And its natural feed. Swarming is reduced by 50% even as close to 75% from what you are seeing in doubles. Raise young queens from your own stock and you cut the figure a little more. The draw back to unlimited brood nests is if one doesn't wish to work such large colonies. Or they lack physical strength.

    Clay


  13. #13
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    Aug 2001
    Location
    NY,USA
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    Clay,
    You do make a lot of sense here but I think you are saying that you winter with 3 deep brood chambers? I have heard that if you winter with 3 deeps the bottom chamber will always be empty in the spring (except for dead bees) and the bees will stay in the top 2. Thus no point in having 3 throughout the winter???

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    Hi,

    You do make a lot of sense here but I think you are saying that you winter with 3 deep brood chambers?


    reply:

    That is exactly what I'm saying!

    I have heard that if you winter with 3 deeps the bottom chamber will always be empty in the spring (except for dead bees) and the bees will stay in the top 2. Thus no point in having 3 throughout the winter???

    reply:

    Ahh! Yes it will be empty of bees but not pollen! Which bees need to build a population with. In two deep you can't build up large poputations of bees and have winter stores at the same time in the fall. You need that room to get maximum population for over wintering. If you remove your honey supers in the fall on doubles then you will have to feed arificially(lots of labor time and money). You could be short come spring so you may have to feed again. If you don't have to feed then you only have a single in the fall for brood rearing thus smaller clusters. Also when its time to reverse you need not worry about splitting the cluster in cool weather. This way room is always available for your bees very early. With 120 pounds on a hive they almost never starve! Slitting is easy as you can just remove a hive body and add another.

    Clay

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