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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Waynesville, GA, USA
    Posts
    34

    Question 1st year package hive with swarm cells, what to do?

    I started 4 hives all with 8 frame mediums, new un-drawn foundation installed in mid April. All have done pretty well, but I noticed a swarm cell on one of my hives (it has 3 mediums)while checking the honey about 2 weeks ago. I just knocked them off and finished looking through the hive and found the queen.

    About 10 days ago I opened it up for another looked and found 7 or 8 more swarm cells. Now I am unsure what to do. I placed an empty hive about 15 feet from that hive. I live in SE GA and was planning on taking honey off of these hives Tuesday. Now I am unsure, if I take off honey and it splits the swarm may not make it, but if I do nothing then I loose the honey?

    What would be my best course of action now?

    Thanks
    Last edited by chambers270; 06-17-2011 at 10:59 AM. Reason: more info added

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: 1st year package hive with swarm cells, what to do?

    Take the queen and a few frames of brood and put them in another box with a frame of honey and a frame of pollen.Leave the swarm cells in the old colony and let them hatch out to get a new queen.Pull the honey,extract it and put the empty frames back on the original(now queenless colony)and they will refill the supers while they are not busy tending a queen.You might have to feed the box with the original queen because the foragers will go back to the old hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Waynesville, GA, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: 1st year package hive with swarm cells, what to do?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: 1st year package hive with swarm cells, what to do?

    If you want more hives, you could split it even more with one or two QCs is each split. Try to even out honey, pollen, open brood and sealed brood as much as possible. You would need to feed sugar water and pollen substitute if your flow doesn't last much longer. You could make up these nucs with bees and brood from your other hives. It doesn't take much brood or many bees for a mating nuc. Have fun and experiment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Elyria, OH
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: 1st year package hive with swarm cells, what to do?

    A split would resolve the issue. You could try a double screen board or Snelgrove board. Leave all the swarm cells with the queen-less hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Waynesville, GA, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: 1st year package hive with swarm cells, what to do?

    Where/why would I use a snellgrove or screen board?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Elyria, OH
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: 1st year package hive with swarm cells, what to do?

    I have three of L. E. Snelgrove's books. The one that might be help, but it's is not for the beginner: Swarming Its Control & Prevention

    A Google search will help you find more.

    From Michael Bush's site:

    Double screen = A wooden frame, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, with two layers of wire screen to separate two colonies within the same hive, one above the other. An entrance is cut on the upper side and placed to the rear of the hive for the upper colony

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm

    Other sources:

    http://www.beesource.com/files/scrnbrd.pdf

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-205131.html

    http://www.bbka.org.uk/local/barksto...rm~print.shtml

    From David Cushman's site:

    http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cus...roveboard.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Waynesville, GA, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: 1st year package hive with swarm cells, what to do?

    Yesterday we had everything ready to split the hive but had a problem. When we opened it up the top super was pretty full of capped honey, the top brood box had some honey and pollen but very little brood. The bottom brood box had a small amount of capped brood but there were no larve or eggs. We could not located the queen and all of the swarm cells were gone. There were at least 8 of them the last time we looked at it aprox 2 weeks ago. I never saw the bees swarm and there are still a pile of bees in the hive.

    Do you think it just had a small swarm? And should I assume the queen just hatched and that she has not began to lay eggs yet?

    Thanks for all of the help

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Elyria, OH
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: 1st year package hive with swarm cells, what to do?

    Leave the hive alone for about two - three weeks and recheck the hive for eggs and or capped brood. If you have capped brood, larva and eggs, then there is a good chance that you have a mated queen. If nothing by the end of July, then you will need to requeen.

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