Page 2 of 10 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 181
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    I am very new to bee keeping and have been reading everything in site. I have a question reguarding this topic. Background: so my two hives were in an orange orchard for the last month in Phoenix. They had a very strong build up over 4-5 weeks ending 1 week into the opening of the blossoms. There were several differnt speicies of citrus so the bloom lasted almost one month. I pulled them out with the last blooms and when I got them home I decided to do some maintenance and another inspection. There are two deep hives and three supers. the lower two suppers are 100% full of honey the third supper is partly full of honey but completely drawn. In the uppermost brood chamber there are 4 frames of capped honey and the rest are half honey half brood with every available cell filled with nectar. In the lower brood body I found my queen and an emergency cell cap which was empty. the cap at most has been there for 1 week. It was not there in a previous inspection. I pulled the brood frames that were honey and replaced them with empty frames. I was worried about swarming with the overflowing numbers of bees but never saw a swarm cell. I also split out 4 frames for a nuc with a russian / carniolan queen. Did this avert a swarm? everything I've read leads me to belive they have not. Will they build an emergency cell and not use it?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    FlagStaffBaughs, Queen caps are common and may never get used. Better to interleave frames of foundation with two frames of brood. Basically it's just opening the brood nest. The interweaving is so they can't ignore the foundation, if it's on the sides it may get ignored.

    Splitting a hive is often done to prevent swarming, but when you consider the factors involved in the lead up to swarming, it becomes apparent that you can actually exacerbate the impulse to swarm rather than relieve it with splits.

    Example of a split increasing likelihood of swarming.

    Remove all frames of open brood and eggs from the parent hive, placing them in a Nuc. Also take two frames of stores. Leave queen in the parent hive. Move all frames in parent hive together in the middle and place frames of foundation on the sides.

    Analysis
    In the parent hive there is nowhere for the queen to lay. Foragers have no where to store nectar and pollen so fill cells as soon as brood emerge. A large number of Nurse bees are unoccupied. Foundation on the outsides of the brood nest will not likely get drawn. So the parent hive is still likely to swarm.


    Example of a split decreasing likelihood of swarming.

    Move parent hive at least a few feet away from original location. Place a new hive in the original place of the parent hive. Move one frame with eggs and two frames of capped brood to the new hive. Also move one frame of stores with a frame of foundation between the brood frames and the stores frame. In the parent hive place foundation in the broodnest alternated with a least two frames of brood.

    Analysis
    The foragers will go to the new hive. Being queenless the new hive will build queen cells and raise a new queen. Due to no where to store all the nectar coming in from the large number of foragers, it forces them to build comb. They won't swarm because they don't have a queen and because they have open brood. It will take up to a month before the queen starts laying.

    The old hive has no incoming resources due to no foragers, so empty cells from emerging brood remain empty until the queen can lay an egg in them. Alternated frames of (2) brood and (1) foundation force the Nurse bees to build comb. Which allows the queen more space to lay and so keeps the Nurse bees busy. There would usually be enough stores in the hive to last them several weeks. By that time young bees have started foraging.

    Matthew Davey
    Last edited by MattDavey; 04-13-2012 at 06:37 AM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    Example of a split increasing likelihood of swarming.


    Example of a split decreasing likelihood of swarming.



    Matthew Davey

    WOW!! Great explanation, especially for a newb like myself.

    I obviously have been reading up on this issue and could not "wrap my arms around it".

    I'd like to hear what others think of your example/analysis

    --Eddie O.
    Eddie O. Atlanta, GA
    Bumping along on my first year . . . http://eddieobees.blogspot.com/

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    Just signing in to keep up.
    Me, too.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Note that in the case of preventing swarming (a sort of cut-down split), the original hive will produce more honey.

    You can also remove the queen, an few frames of capped brood, and two frames of stores to a nuc with a frame of foundation. Leave the old hive in place. The foragers will stuff it full of nectar since there will soon be a shoratge of brood to feed (a month with no new brood while they raise a new queen). Should get you a larger honey crop if you do this on a good flow, a brood break to reduce mite loading, and a second hive that will build up fast since you have a laying queen in it. Move the new hive to a standard box when there is brood in the new foundation and a second round in the frames that were capped brood initially (a few weeks?). Might even work in a full sized hive if you add extra bees.

    Done early on the spring flow you should have two full sized hives by summer's end, plus a nice honey crop and reduced swarming.

    Peter

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    ... When the capped frame of brood is removed from the brood chamber, and placed above the excluder; and a drawn empty frame replaces it, the effects of the bees hatching in an area NOT the brood chamber has not been examined in your analysis. Could you rethink your scenario with half of the new bees hatching above the excluder, and using their own entrance?

    Crazy Roland

    Roland/Adrian, when a frame of mainly capped brood is placed above the excluder and has some eggs or young larvae on it, do the bees start making queen cells? Can you say how often this happens? Have you deliberately done this to see if queen cells are built?

    Thanks
    Matthew Davey

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,728

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    do the bees start making queen cells?

    Rarely, but it does happen.

    Have you deliberately done this to see if queen cells are built?

    Please restate this question. It does not make sense. We move brood up to give the queen room. Over 90 percent of the hives have this done. I am confused. Are you asking about the effects of putting the young brood in the second or third super?

    Crazy Roland

    P.S. I do not frequent this forum, I am here because this thread was moved here(I believe). If I do not respond, PM me.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Thanks Roland, the question is around placing eggs or young larve above the queen excluder.

    Questions are:

    1. Considering the hive is used to having a queen excluder on it, if there are eggs or young larvae on frames placed above the queen excluder, how likely are the bees to build queen cells? (As this would indicate not enough queen pheromone is getting to those nurse bees.) In another thread Micahel Palmer indicated about 20% of the time (but I'm not sure if the bees were used to going through a queen excluder.) Would you agree?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    ... I have made thousands of splits using the excluder and placing brood over it for one night. Also have a re-queening method that employs same method. I just don't see queen cells the next day, and queen acceptance is always exceptional.

    Now if you leave the brood up there long enough...I use this method...Brother Adam method...to set up cell builders. 10 days before grafting, a box of brood is placed above an excluder above a strong colony. 9 days later..the day before the graft.. I check the entire colony for rogue queen cells. In 20% or so of cases, there will be emergency cells above the excluder.

    2. Do you deliberately place frames of eggs or young larvae above a queen excluder for the purpose of raising new queens?


    3. Why do you move the frames of brood so often? Is it because there could be queen cells, or is it more about the brood cycle?


    4. If you used two deeps below the excluder would you have to move the brood frames up so often?


    Thanks
    Matthew Davey

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Here is Roland's response: (Thanks Roland, hope you don't mind me posting it.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Roland

    1. How likely are the bees to build queen cells?

    In the first deep over one deep brood, very seldom(1 percent?).


    2. Do you deliberately place frames of eggs or young larvae above a queen excluder for the purpose of raising new queens?

    No


    3. Why do you move the frames of brood so often? Is it because there could be queen cells, or is it more about the brood cycle?

    None of the above. To make sure the queen does not have to wander about looking for an open cell, therefore she can lay more.


    4. If you used two deeps below the excluder would you have to move the brood frames up so often?

    Don't know, don't care to find out. More room for feed to hide, twice the frame to inspect.


    Crazy Roland

    Matthew Davey

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Good job. There is one fine point that I wish to discuss: ....there may be an effect that you have not considered. When the capped frame of brood is removed from the brood chamber, and placed above the excluder; and a drawn empty frame replaces it, the effects of the bees hatching in an area NOT the brood chamber has not been examined in your analysis. Could you rethink your scenario with half of the new bees hatching above the excluder, and using their own entrance?

    Crazy Roland
    I have considered Roland's method and agree that it is likely to stop Swarming. The main reason being that it ensures that there is a large amount of open brood which will keep the nurse bees busy.

    I also had a good look at moving a box forward (about 1 1/8" or 28mm) on top of a plastic queen excluder so that there is a 1/4" (6mm) gap under the front of the box. I found the back of the box is actually sealed by the queen excluder so the gap is only at the front of the hive.

    With the entrance directly above excluder, the bees are less likely to store as much pollen and nectar below the excluder than if the excluder wasn't there (as it is an obstacle). The presence of brood above the excluder also helps to deter pollen and nectar being stored below the excluder.

    Even though backfilling of the brood nest occurs, is is more likely to be above the queen excluder. So the queen is able to continue laying eggs below the excluder without competition for empty cells with the foragers. This ensures that there is a large amount of open brood on several frames. There is also (reasonably) fresh pollen and nectar stored in the frames that have been moved below the excluder, so fewer foragers are required to go through the excluder to ensure there is enough stores close to the the open brood.

    As Nurse bees emerge above the excluder they clean the empty cells which are soon filled by the foragers. So this ensures space for foragers to store in. The Nurse bees are also fed for the first few days as they harden up and mature, then as they move into Nursing duties they are likely drawn down to the open brood below the excluder by the smell of the open brood (and possibly the royal jelly.)

    Because the bees are used to going through the excluder, enough queen pheromone is distributed throughout the hive to ensure queen cells are not built. But the fact that capped brood are placed above the excluder also ensures that they can't build queen cells above the excluder either.

    As stated, to work properly, the swapping of frames from above to below the excluder needs to occur about every every 12 to 14 days. This is to allow all the capped brood to emerge above the excluder. When you consider the brood cycle, it is 21 days (3 weeks). Larva are capped at about 9 days, so they are sealed for 12 days.

    When I consider the swarm season here, swapping capped brood would be required to happen for about 8 weeks, at most 12 weeks. So if brood swapping is done every 14 days (fortnight), swapping would occur on 4 to 6 occassions. So it wouldn't be as much work as I was thinking it would be.

    Thanks Roland, I will be trying this next swarm season.

    Matthew Davey
    Last edited by MattDavey; 05-25-2012 at 05:40 AM.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Noticed that Adrian Quiney said he had some hives swarm, so I asked him why he thought that had happened:

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Matthew, having consulted with Roland on this I believe I was not moving enough frames up at one time. I was moving 1 or 2, whereas Roland was moving up to 5. This is another reason I think I need more drawn brood frames on hand. With the frames that are above the excluder I either dedicate them as honey frames or brood frames and don't mix them up.
    The more that folks ask me thought provoking questions on this the more I realize that for every drawn brood frame I have in a colony I probably need another drawn brood frame in reserve. I am going to have to come up with a plan for this; It may involve allowing colonies I plan to cull in the winter to draw out frames before there demise - which is easier said than done for me as I even have a hard time thinning out carrots.
    Matthew Davey

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,728

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    It has been a most difficult year. Those hives that where strong enough to forage for the Red Maple bloom of March, are going gangbusters. The Dandelion flow was a flop. Normally there is a wide margin as to the number of frames you can move up. This year, due to the repeated hot/cold cycles, it was vary easy to error on either side, too much or too little. We errored on the too much on occasion.

    Adrian. don't worry about not having drawn comb to place downstairs, if there is a flow, foundation will also work, and will give them even more distractions. DO NOT use foundation of there is not a flow, they will chew it up and make a mess.

    Crazy Roland

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Great discussion. I am learning a lot!

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    It's swarm season here, so was thinking about if I could summarise Swarm prevention in one line.

    It would be something like:

    To prevent reproduction swarms, a beekeeper must keep the amount of open brood above a certain threshold that is proportional to the number of nurse bees, during the period when temperature and resources are suitable for swarming.

    That threshold is the hard part.

    Consider the following:
    Brood (and eggs) are "open" for one week and then capped for two weeks before emerging.
    Young adult bees may nurse for up to three weeks before foraging.

    So the ideal number of nurse bees to open brood is 3:1.
    (3 weeks nursing to 1 week open brood).

    What does that look like in the brood nest? Maybe 2:1 capped brood to open brood.
    So maybe keeping the brood nest at 2/3 capped brood is the goal.

    Matthew Davey

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,064

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Walt, I am sure you are making a wonderful point. but nearly every other word in this post makes no sense to me. IT is almost like you introduced a foreign language to the conversation.

    What is a minimum capped honey reserve or expansion limit? I have never heard of either one.

    I believe I have seen for myself the plodding expansion you describe. I have been at a loss as to what I am seeing.

    "They can still be expanding at reproductive swarm cut off timing, without backfilling".

    This almost sounds contradictory. are you still talking about a colony that is plodding along about expansion? I am not sure a weak plodding colony is subject of a swarm conversation. It woudl seem to me they are not functioning normally for a colony for whatever reasons and that is the subject for a completely different conversation on bee behavior.At the very least it is something like a curve ball and adds to my confusion of your comments.

    Most confusing in this comment is the "reproductive swarm cut off timing". Again I have never heard of a cut off timing?

    You say there is a combination of triggers. Expansion limit which I don't understand anything about and backfilling which I do understand.

    Finally the last reference that leaves me going Huh? "repro c/o concept". What the hell is that? I am pretty sure it is confusing simply because quite a bit of your post has already left me wondering just what you are talking about. I suspect that most of it woudl clear up for me with an understanding of the "Expansion limit" which I have never heard of. at least not referred to like that.

    I do recognize from my one plodding swarm this past year that some bees will only expand so far. I have no idea as to why.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,759

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Read his manuscript and the terms will be much clearer. I think he sells it for 10 bucks.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,653

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Read his manuscript and the terms will be much clearer. I think he sells it for 10 bucks.
    Or possibly read what you're looking for here: http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/walt-wright/
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,346

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Daniel,
    You are correct. It is a foreign language. In studying the swarm process, new concepts were seen for which no terms existed. (Plowing new ground) Had to either name them or use a full paragraph to describe the concept any time it was relevant.

    Minimum capped honey reserve: Seen in the southeast primarily. An amount of honey at the top that is not used in the buildup. It is saved to carry the colony through swarm preps in the event of a dropout in field nectar. When that minimum reserve is reached by brood nest expansion, the colony starts backfilling. Not seen in more northerly areas where the beekeeper only leaves enough honey to carry the colony to available field nectar. It is consumed in late winter for survival.

    Reproductive swarm cut off (repro c/o): The point in vegetative developement where the colony abandons swarm ambition in favor of colony survival. If the colony has not committed to swarm by starting swarm cells, they change internal operations to prepare for storing winter honey. The following three weeks is devoted to rearing the house bees needed to process and store honey at efficient rates.

    Walt

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    I've noticed here that Reproductive Swarm cutoff is close to the Summer Solstice. It makes sense that that change of daylight from lengthening to shortening would signal that it is now time to start preparing for winter.

    Also, Swarm season seems to start not long after Spring Equinox.

    Repo cutoff also reminds me about the dumping of (white) wax and wax building that happens at that time.

    For Swarm prevention, encouraging wax building before swarm season starts, helps to encourage bees to build wax when they are running out of space (to store nectar), rather than backfilling the brood nest. So this should also be added to the summary...

    Matthew Davey
    Last edited by MattDavey; 11-16-2012 at 05:40 AM.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,064

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Walt, Thank you. I had this in the back of my mind all day yesterday wondering if i had really overlooked some critical points in beekeeping. Nto so. Simply a matter of I have not taken that close of a look at checkerboarding and more specifically your observations concerning swarming.

    I did read the point of view. One comment that stands out boldly for me. "His conclusion: beekeepers see, but do not observe, or ask themselves why the bees do what they do." I would heartily agree. But I agree this is true for almost everyone anywhere. It is not an insult to others that do not observe. In act I consider the observers the "Nerds". Regardless it is not a negative in either way but it is a process that many simply do not go to the lengths to carry out. Observers tend to annoy the main stream with their detailed analysis of almsot any subject.

    I point this out because i clearly see room that both the observer and the beekeper learn to understand each other and tolerate each other. Observers will bicker of some of the seemingly most trivial issues. but to the observer they are not trivial. They are important.

    Case in point. is backfilling a signal that swarm preparation will begin or a result of it already haven happened. It is the difference between preventing swarming before it even gets started or trying to stop it once it has. For most the bees not swarming is the important part. for the observer, they realize it is better to prevent than to stop.

    I have not seen the threshold and may not since I am more of a northerly location. I may have seen the choice to store rather than back fill and never even realized it. I also may have been adding frames to my hive during the prime swarming period but not because I was trying to prevent swarming. So I may have masked or interrupted some of the observations I could have made concerning swarming and how it looks.

    At any rate I am an observer myself. So I look forward to bickering over many details in the future.

    And thanks for your part in putting man on the moon.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

Page 2 of 10 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads