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  1. #41
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    I am wondering if curtailing a swarm results in a new queen. How long will a colony survive without the queen being replaced?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #42
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    2,846

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    If the curtailing of the swarm resulted in a new queen. Wasn't the queen just replaced?

    I am guessing you mean if curtailing of a swarm prevents the making of a new queen. How long will the existing queen live? I have read that a single queen can live for as much as 7 years. 4 is more likely. Being productive that long is another issue. From all I have seen I get the impression queens should be replaced every two years at least to keep a healthy productive queen in the hive. Observations of the brood nest and gaining the skills to determine if a queen is productive is a method I woudl prefer.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Thanks, Daniel. Made my day, and it's early yet.

    Queen life is inversely proportional to cavity size. That queen that lasted 7 years was operating in a small cavity and her progeny didn't know how to generate a swarm.
    Walt

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    125

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    I am following this thread with interest, going into my third year of beekeeping and have so far expanded to 24 hives. So the major problem that I have had with checkerboarding as a method of swarm control and maximising honey production has been the lack of drawn comb.
    Thi spring I intend to try an excluder above the brood area with an entrance above the excluder and see how that goes. I have also had swarms from 3 of my hives in late July and into August , so here swarm cutoff seems after the summer solstice.
    John

  5. #45
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    Aug 2008
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    johno,
    Don't make a judgement on this wacko season. Your repro cut off should be close to mine - late Mar. Locally, the ferals were swarming in mid summer. Never seen that before, and won't try to guess why. In the managed colonies, repro c/o was almost exactly three weeks early this year. Again, will not guess how that affected the wild colonies.
    Walt

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    125

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Thanks Walt,
    I went from 9 colonies to 24 this season so do not have enough drawn comb to checkerboard next spring hence the excluder with an upper entrance plan.I keep my hives in mediums over a deep box so plan to put the excluder above the first medium.I see that you use shallow boxes, I am a little reluctant to change from mediums to shallows at this time as I have so many of the mediums. Do you think checkerboarding will still work with mediums over the deep
    John

  7. #47
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    Do you think checkerboarding will still work with mediums over the deep
    John
    If you switch to all mediums in your case your inventory problem for drawn comb will diminish.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #48
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    Aug 2008
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    johno,
    Have little experience with mediums, but in a couple of cases where they were wintered in that config. the colonies treated the medium the same as a shallow. They did all their swarm preps in the deep below and didn't open any cells in the medium above. Very tough to stop swarming when they do that. I'll be very interested in the results of your upper entry approach. Checkerboarding does work with mediums when you have the drawn comb.

    Ace,
    How so?

    Walt

  9. #49
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    If your equipment is all the same size the amount of drawn frames available become large because all the ones used for honey the previous year are now available to use in the brood chamber. The new frames with foundation get used for honey. If your equipment is all different sizes than it will take you longer to build up enough drawn comb of each size so you do get short handed on one size required for checkerboarding.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
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    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Your Summer Solstice was March 20. (Correction, it should be June 20)

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_solstice

    We have swarms after Summer Solstice too, but I'm thinking it is more likely due to the cavity being filled and nowhere left to expand. So the brood nest gets back filled and the swarm process begins.

    Matthew Davey
    Last edited by MattDavey; 11-16-2012 at 03:42 PM.

  11. #51
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    matt, that's our spring equinox.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
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    660

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Thanks Squarepeg. Sorry, it was June 20.

    There goes that theory...

    Matthew Davey

  13. #53
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    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    125

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    OK Ace, I have about 26 deep boxes I use for brood boxes and 8 drawn combs per box more than 200 frames. I prefer a deep box as a brood box, but if I discarded or cut down those boxes I would be in worse shape for drwn comb. the drawn comb I require is for honey production.So if I was to follow the herd and use only med boxes I would start with a deficit of 208 drawn combs, not quite where I want to be. We will see where we are in the spring and if there are losses I will make them up and hope not to expand any further, thus allowing my existing hives to produce sufficient drawn comb to meet requirements
    John

  14. #54
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    OK Ace, I have about 26 deep boxes I use for brood boxes and 8 drawn combs per box more than 200 frames. I prefer a deep box as a brood box, but if I discarded or cut down those boxes I would be in worse shape for drwn comb. the drawn comb I require is for honey production.So if I was to follow the herd and use only med boxes I would start with a deficit of 208 drawn combs, not quite where I want to be. We will see where we are in the spring and if there are losses I will make them up and hope not to expand any further, thus allowing my existing hives to produce sufficient drawn comb to meet requirements
    John
    if you are using all deeps, search for 'Roland's method for swarm prevention and honey production.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #55
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    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Thanks for the reply Squarepeg,
    I use a deep only as the first box then followed by mediums so I have actually 28 deep boxes and at present 50 mediums,I will need at least 25 more by March. I read a report by Jerry Hayes about entrances above an excluder and thought I would try it out.I will also do a search on Rolands method and see where that will lead me.
    John

  16. #56
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    roland uses all deeps, and has a really cool method that i would use myself if i always had help around to deal with the heavy boxes.

    i tried the excluder with the upper entrance, and didn't have good results, but i probably gave up too soon on it. search for 'joseph clemens' on this forum for some good illustrations on how he makes that work.

    at this point, i am liking walt wright's nectar management by checkerboarding approach. walt lives near me, and my limited experience with it so far is encouraging.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #57
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    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    125

    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    I am keen to try checkerboarding, I have Walts manual but need to get to having enough drawn comb for my mediums
    John

  18. #58
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    OK Ace, I have about 26 deep boxes I use for brood boxes and 8 drawn combs per box more than 200 frames.
    John, any change is painful in the short term. Wisdom says you endure the short term pain to be better off in the future. If you continue to do what you have always done you will not have any change, good or bad.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #59
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    I also have deep bodies and med supers. But I started that way on purpose knowing that I woudl convert to all of one or the other. After just open year and lifting just one full deep body. I have made up my mind. I will be goign all med. There are some possible negatives to all med manly the brood nest. So if anything I will use what deeps I have as brood nest boxes on hives that will otherwise be all med. this is because deep boxes have one negative I cannot accept. they are so heavy they actually discourage me from doing inspections. Even as a first year keeper with more curiosity than is good for the bees. I found myself quickly putting off lifting that super of honey off to check on the brood nest. For me that is entirely unacceptable. When inspections need to be made they need to be made. I don't have the same problem with med full of honey.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #60
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    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Daniel I only use the 8 frame deep as the lower brood box with one med brood box above thereafter mediums for honey storage. As the lower box is never really full of honey the weight is not a problem, besides when inspecting the hive the lowest box is rarely lifted so I do not really have a problem. This also allows me to make deep or medium nuc's. I did have a problem with some of my hives going up into the new comb of the honey supers and laying eggs, I wiil try to prevent this by fitting an excluder above the brood boxes with a 3 quarter inch shim and creating an entrance above the excluder.
    John

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