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Thread: Swarm

  1. #1

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    When a hive swarms, the old queen leaves with half the bees. What happens if the queen is clipped ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    The swarm will end up a cluster on the ground. Eventually, if they can, depending on your hive arrangments and ant protection, climb back up into the hive only to try again later. Or they will still be on the ground in a cluster.

    The idea is, if you check your hives every afternoon, you should find them there and know they are trying to swarm. They are then easily hived (since she can't fly) and you didn't lose the swarm.

    Not very many people seem to clip anymore. Some queen producers won't clip anymore and some will. The theory behind NOT clipping is that the bees are more likely to supercede if the queen has a obvious physical abnormality. I don't know of any study to support this and I've had some clipped queens and never noticed any difference. None of mine are clipped right now and most have not been in the past.

  3. #3
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    Manitoba Canada
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    The swarm will leave with a virgin after a few more virgin queens emerge.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    True, if you don't take steps when they first try, eventually they will swarm with a queen that CAN fly.

  5. #5

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    Will the old queen and new queen ever fight to the death ?

  6. #6
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    >Will the old queen and new queen ever fight to the death ?

    Sometimes. Sometimes not. But in the case being discussed the swarming instinct is in effect so the bees will keep trying to swarm until all the queens are gone (afterswarms) or if they think the population is low enough, they will dispose of the reamaining queens or they will let them fight it out. Eventually, sometimes not until fall but probably sooner, there will be only one queen left.

    With a clipped queen I'm not sure I could predict which would be left, but usuaully, all other things being equal, the bees will keep the youngest one and kill the older one.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
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    Last fall I talked with Jim McAdams of Ohio Queen Breeders. They sell queen lines to other breeders and a lot of the big migratory keepers.

    They clip.

    His point was if they swarm the swarm returns. You may lose the queen but not half the hive.

    These guys seem to know a bit about queens.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    >>His point was if they swarm the swarm returns. You may lose the queen but not half the hive.


    But the hive will continue to try to swarm and eventually leave with a vergin.

    Ian

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