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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Clip queen's wing and Nuc under hive to catch swarms?

    Hello All,

    My hive is in the back yard in a residential area. I will be doing swarm prevention methods as well, but to prevent swarms causing issues, what do you think about clipping one of the queen's wings and having the hive on a stand high enough to place a 5 frame Nuc underneath?

    So since the queen can hardly fly, landing on the ground, the swarm would go into the Nuc instead. I would then be able to see when they have swarmed and deal with the queen cells in the original hive.

    Does anyone have experience with this?

    Thanks
    Matthew Davey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,072

    Default Re: Clip queen's wing and Nuc under hive to catch swarms?

    I have no idea if it would work like that, but if it does (even every once in a while) it's a danged fine idea. Even if the swarm didn't just march into the nuc if you found them (I've found swarms on the ground in my apiary that had queens that were not clipped - a big fat queen just doesn't fly that well) at least you would have it handy to use.

    People are apt to give all kinds of reasons why that probably won't work, but until someone tries it...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Rhinelander wisconsin
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Clip queen's wing and Nuc under hive to catch swarms?

    Id think it would work well. ONly thing that would bee a down side is could she climb out? But i like the idea !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Clip queen's wing and Nuc under hive to catch swarms?

    I had a similar idea when I first started and I was told that clipping queen wings would increase the potential for her to be superceded. Secondly, when a hive swarms, they almost always swarm away from the original hive any where from 50 to 100 ft. in a cluster then start looking for a new home.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Searcy, Arkansas
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Clip queen's wing and Nuc under hive to catch swarms?

    She or the others might not go into the nuc. I had an attempted swarm with a clipped queen. The swarm was high up in a neighbor's tree. After 30 minutes or an hour, they realized the queen wasn't with them and all went back into the original hive. One of the coolest things I've seen in beekeeping was the whole face of the hive covered with bees and all of them dutifully marching into the hive. An hour or two later I saw a bundle of 8 or 10 bees about 4 feet from the hive. Right in the middle was my marked and clipped queen. I put her back in the hive, which was a mistake. She evidently was superceded shortly thereafter because I never saw her again. A couple of weeks or so later, the hive swarmed again, this time successfully. I had cut out queen cells (another mistake) and then went for a time being queenless.

    My point is that if you clip the queen, the initial swarm might not follow the queen onto the ground or into the nuc. If they sense she's not with them, they may return to the hive and she may just end up on the ground. If I hadn't seen my queen on the ground, I doubt she would have made it into a nuc or much of anywhere. She probably would have just died out in the open. It may not be evident if your hive swarmed because the swarm may return once they realize the queen isn't with them. Thus, you'd just have to be lucky to happen to see them when they attempted to swarm and lucky to find your queen on the ground somewhere.

    I think a better idea would be to split them prior to them thinking they needed to swarm, or to otherwise supress the swarm drive by giving them plenty of open cells in the brood nest.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,838

    Default Re: Clip queen's wing and Nuc under hive to catch swarms?

    If you clip her wing, the bees will likely supercede her as a damaged queen, which is what also happens very often with marked queens. Better idea is to give them plenty of room before your major honey flow, and if they are building up too fast, or becomming honeybound, then split the hive so they have room.

    My recommendation is to prevent swarming rather than clipping, marking queens and trying to catch swarms.

    cchoganjr

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