Seems like the main ways of preventing swarming in a TBH are either splitting, or putting empty bars into the brood nest.
Has anyone tried anything else? What I have in mind is something analogous to the swarm control manipulations you might use in a Langstroth hive. For example, a way of separating the queen from the brood, and later restoring the brood nest to its prior state.
I'm thinking in these terms for two reasons. First, I was pretty ineffective in controlling swarming last season, with splitting or inserting empty bars. Second, those methods both involve making permanent changes to the brood nest, which I'd like to avoid doing.
[This message has been edited by dmcdonald (edited December 07, 2004).]
I just noticed this from Dennis in another thread:
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I changed the end entrances on my first hive to side entrances. These work alot better and can be opened to provide a lot more ventilation when needed. The added flexibility will allow me to rear a replacement queen on one end of the hive. When my tbh wants to swarm next season, I will move some broodnest comb, with the queen, behind a follower board at the other end of the hive and open the side entrance.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
That's exactly the sort of thing I'm after. Thanks.
I'd be interested to hear more about this sort of approach. Would you later move her and the comb back into the main broodnest?
Dartington's method is just that. To basically do a split within the box and then either recombine or do a real split depending on what you want. Meanwhile you have a new queen and can dispose of the old one when you recombine and you've requeened.
I'd recommend doing this just before or at the begining of the honey flow. If you put all the open brood, the honey and the queen in the back. And one bar with some eggs and all the capped brood in the front (with the old entrance) then the front "honey producing" portion has no queen and won't swarm but will produce well (having no brood to take care of) and the rear "brood rearing" portion has no field bees and won't swarm.