Re: TBH Management: How Do You Curb Swarming?
Well, I am absolutely green at all this, but I'll throw my 2 cents in. I would look at what the bees have done differently in your hive vs. Greg's.
Originally Posted by SteveBee
Is the size of his brood nest smaller than yours? Maybe Greg's bees have created a honey barrier that is blocking the queen from enlarging the brood nest and your bees haven't? Just a couple of possibilities to consider that I've gleaned from others with more experience.
I have also been reading Walt Wright's articles about swarming in the "Point of View" section of BeeSource. He has some provocative thoughts about how and why a colony swarms.
His articles can be a bit hard to digest, but I really think he makes some good points that apply just as well to TBHs as well as to Langs. One article appropriate to this topic is this: "Swarm Preparation" Another germane article: "Is It Congestion?".
Walt identifies two types of swarms -- reproductive swarming and overcrowding swarming. According to Walt, the triggers for each type are somewhat different. From "Swarm Preparations":
"...Species survival by generation of the reproductive swarm is the basic objective of every over-wintered colony. The whole build-up period is dedicated to increasing the population to support division by the reproductive swarm. Division needs to occur in time for the offspring swarm to have a chance at getting itself established that season...."
"...Overcrowding swarms are the result of another survival trait of honey bees. To protect survival of the existing colony (priority one) a swarm is generated to reduce an out-of-balance condition of excess population. That swarm is generated later in the growing season than the reproductive swarm and is expandable...."
I wonder if Adam's swarms were from overcrowding -- where the brood nest had gotten so large and there are so many bees, that the hive simply could not support them all.
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