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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westport, CT
    Posts
    68

    Default Possible mistake trying to avert swarm.

    On inspection of a booming hive that swarmed last week I found a (still) very full 2 deeps worth of bees. Much capped brood, but not honey bound. The hive has one almost full super of honey. I found 2 queen cells at the bottom of a frame that I pinched. At that moment I thought that without a queen to lead them off I might avert another swarm. Several hours later they threw a medium sized swarm that landed about 50 ft away 12 feet in a magnolia tree.

    Was pinching the queen cells the right thing to do? Or did I possibly kill the replacement queen just prior to the old queen leaving leaving me queenless? I know there are methods to avert swarming such as checkerboarding, but I just don't have the extra drawns frames, etc.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Default

    Once they have decided to swarm it is almost a certainty. Keep an eye on the hive, but chances are you didn't find all the queen cells, they usually leave about four days before the new one hatches.

    If you want to avert swarms you need to start much earlier. Next time you find queen cells pull one of the frames with at least one nice cell on it and a couple of frames of brood and make a split. Open the brood area with some empty frames by checker boarding the area where you took the frames, and keep your fingers crossed.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default

    >Was pinching the queen cells the right thing to do?

    Most likely, no. It almost never is.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallaci...#queencellsbad
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm#queencells
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Read replies 7, 8, and 9 in this thread.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219250

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    While I agree with the others, if you only pinched 2 cells chances are that you missed the other 17 queen cells.

    If you aren't sure, put the swarm into a medium super, and then in 2 weeks or so combine them back togather.

    Don't feel too bad, I'm really finding that all the methods in the world don't mean a thing when you are standing out in the bee yard staring at these queen cells trying to remember what somebody wrote on the internet .

    Rick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westport, CT
    Posts
    68

    Default Thanks scadobees and other replyers

    Scadsobees, yes, that was exactly the situation. Just one more step up the learning curve. Thanks to everyone else who replied, too.

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