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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    815

    Default swarm prevention or wasting time?

    i thought i was doing the right thing this year, waiting extra long to get the 2nd box on my nuc's. i put two frames of foundation in when i made them and i was waiting until they had both sides mostly drawn before adding the second deep. then came 4 days of solid rain right when i knew they needed them, and with no bees leaving the box it must have been pretty crowded. so today i spent the day adding second decks, and scraping swarm cells off the bottom boards. some were capped, some where almost capped and lots were just getting started.i also pulled a frame from the middle and moved it up into the second deck on the really crowded hives. my worry is, i've heard that once they decide to swarm you can't change their minds without intense splitting and i did not do that. so will this keep them home and growing or will i be chasing my own bees into the woods?thanks, justin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,165

    Default Re: swarm prevention or wasting time?

    With this late cold spring and rain, I bet we have two three weeks anyway before we get a flow other than the fruit and dandelions. I would personally do shook swarms. All this rain we are having will really exacerbate any crowding. I put on second boxes on the strong ones last week and hope it quits raining so I can go check on things.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: swarm prevention or wasting time?

    I know several beeks can provide you with much more valuable information pertaining to this topic. But, I've used queen excluders over/under(as applicable for your set-up) the entrances to trap the queen inside. They will swarm and then return as they do not have a queen with them. BTW: This is very cool to watch!!! This buys some time as needed for one reason or another. This can be used to some degree to settle them down. The bees that wish to swarm with the new queen will beard heavily on the outside. I mist them lightly with some sugar water and brush them into a bucket. Then put them into a closed entrance nuc or whatever. Then I open the original hive and find a queen. Capture her and then add her to the swept bees who will be looking for a queen.
    Note: this technique could lead to the queens battling for superior status before you can get the time to move one to the nuc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: swarm prevention or wasting time?

    Quote Originally Posted by justin View Post
    .. so today i spent the day adding second decks, and scraping swarm cells off the bottom boards. My worry is, i've heard that once they decide to swarm you can't change their minds ...
    Which is why you should NOT scrape off the swarm cells, because it won't stop them from swarming, but will often leave you queenless.

    As DaddysBees said, sometimes you can slow them down with an excluder, but if the original queen can't swarm with them, they'll leave with a virgin who can often slip thru an excluder. And, since the original queen stops laying several days prior to swarming in order to slim down so she can fly, sometimes she will get thru an excluder.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Manhattan,Montana,USA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: swarm prevention or wasting time?

    I know what you mean. i just spent the last few days building mating nucs. i found 13 queen cells in my large hive. i made up six mating nucs and left a few queen cells in the oringinal hive. i believe the queen has already swarmed. its a good chance to boost hive #'s is the way i look at it.

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