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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,312

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells

    Swarm splits: the whole idea is to simulate a swarm so that the bees believe the swarm has left. Take the old queen along with a couple frames of brood/bees and a frame of honey and a frame of drawn or foundation and start a new hive in a nuc box or spare hive body. Leave ALL the swarm cells with the original hive so they can continue raising a new queen, although you could use a couple of the swarm cells for requeening or other splits, but leave plenty of them for the original hive. If you don't take the old queen out of the hive, take a guess as to what will happen; they will still swarm! When they leave (which they do 99.999% of the time, when you do it incorrectly) you need a new queen in the original split that you made incorrectly and a new queen in the original hive. If you do it correctly you still have the original queen to use as a replacement if the swarm cells aren't successful. Hope this makes sense!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells

    Quote Originally Posted by mbcpa View Post
    Won't the bees left in the old hive still swarm?
    Maybe... sort of depends on what their motivation to swarm was. If they have open brood, they might just start a new queen and then swarm. If there is no open brood, they won't be able to make new queen cells and they may delay. I had one of my hives swarm last year without a queen after I'd done a split... they eventually returned after a few days of feeding the sparrows.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_stix View Post
    Swarm splits: ...
    Excellent explanation Fish Stix!

    Also, if you move the old queen's hive away remember that there won't be any foragers. Two reasons this is important -- 1. she won't be likely to abscond or swarm in the near future and 2. you will have to supply honey or food and pollen.

    As usual, excellent info at...
    Bush Bees, swarm control
    Last edited by geebob; 04-03-2012 at 09:15 AM. Reason: provided link

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Surfside Beach, SC
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells

    Wow, this stuff is way more complicated than I ever imagined. I've certainly got a lot to learn. Thanks, guys for the great info!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells

    Tom,

    It's actually pretty simple, but there are more things to consider than you'd originally think! Fortunately, you can pretty much make this hobby as simple or as complicated as you'd like.

    JeffG

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Surfside Beach, SC
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells

    Jeff,

    It sounds like you have to be in your hives a lot, because how else will you know if you've got swarm cells? You have to go through every frame of every box to insure your bees aren't going to swarm.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells

    Not really. Some of my hives aren't strong enough to worry about swarming right now. I have other hives that I know I'm going to split in the next week or two (if they have swarm cells then that is great as they are further along and will have less of a delay in build-up).

    So the colonies that I'm worried about are my production colonies. We are starting to get a flow here, so I will make sure that I'm checking them regularly to keep them from being honey bound and making sure that there is plenty of room for the queen to continue to lay. Since we basically rely on June for our honey crop (and possibly May and August for bonus crops), I want my production colonies to be packed with bees by May, but still be raising brood until June.

    What I'm getting at is that I have a pretty good idea of what's happening in my colonies. I don't have to check for swarm cells in my hives because I try to take steps to prevent them swarming. Have I been surprised and had colonies swarm? Uh huh... But I think I'm getting better at managing my colonies and detecting the signs of swarming behavior.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-04-2012 at 01:07 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Surfside Beach, SC
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Capped Queen Cells

    Very good tips here. Hive management is so important.

    But, before you can become a good "hive manager," you have to come here and get knowledge, and that is what I'm trying to do. You all have helped me immensely!

    Some people are fortunate to have mentors. All of you on this site are my mentors. , and I am grateful to you!

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