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  1. #141
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I can make up all sorts of fictional situation myself.
    Your demonstrations of this talent on Beesource have been very successful.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  2. #142
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    is this beekeeping 101, or kindergarten?
    u no the answer

    I know I don't have the intellectual capacity of others, nor the drive or interest to expand my base all that much, but, I believe my grasp still exceeds my reach, inspite of those who look down from on high w/ their ability to find papers on the internet, read them and regergitate. Let them work w/ Michael Palmer or Chuck Kutik or even Jon MacDonald for a week and come to some meaningful understanding of the Honeybee and me.

    I wish I knew what the honeybee knew, ya know?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  3. #143
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    mark, i regretted making that post immediately after i clicked it in.

    i wasn't at all challenging intellect, but rather maturity.

    it was a round about way of asking the posters to move on from squabbling like a couple of kids at recess, and get back to the issue at hand.

    sorry for the confusion.

    me thinks me posts too much.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #144
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    and to your second point, i agree, and give much more value to the experience of those who have been at this for many years, and have had their hands in more hives than i will ever have.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #145
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    mark, i regretted making that post immediately after i clicked it in.

    i wasn't at all challenging intellect, but rather maturity.

    it was a round about way of asking the posters to move on from squabbling like a couple of kids at recess, and get back to the issue at hand.

    sorry for the confusion.

    me thinks me posts too much.
    I should have preficed my second comments by writing that I was not responding to your Post but to Posts of those disparaging my intelect.

    We're good 'peg. No problemo Doc.

    I appreciate a beekeeper who has a decent balance of knowledge and understanding and handson experience. One reason I like Randy Oliver, Wyatt Mangum, Jerry Hayes, Larry Conner, and others to numerous to name who write so well about their research and their experience.

    There are reasons they don't participate on beesource.

    DanielY, have u ever considered joining and Posting on Bee-L? Maybe you aught to give it a try.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #146
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Now that we've got the personal comments out of the way, can we get back to the topic?

    I've been talking with Walt about the development of wax builders during swarm preparations. (Walt, Hope you don't mind me sharing this.)

    He pointed out that house bees are used as storage tanks for nectar once the brood nest has been backfilled and this causes wax makers/builders to develop. This is important in that a swarm must be able to build comb. Before the swarm, little wax is produced.

    If I put the process in a tree like structure you can see the major trigger points:


    Excess incoming nectar
    |
    ----- Causes backfilling of the brood nest
    |
    ----- Causes reduction of space for the queen to lay
    |
    ----- Causes less open brood
    |
    ----- Causes excess Nurse bees
    |
    ----- Causes extra feeding of larvae
    |
    ----- Causes Queen cells
    |
    ----- Causes house bees to be used as storage tanks
    |
    ----- Causes wax builders to develop


    So Checkerboarding and Overhead nectar management work at the first level, avoiding backfilling of the brood nest in the first place. But this requires drawn comb!

    Opening the brood nest is focused on the next level down, as it aims to give the queen more space to lay (despite the backfilling) and also helps to develop wax builders. Once wax builders are active, comb is more likely to be extended to store nectar and so backfilling is reduced.

    With that, I've realised that I'm also looking at the second level when suggesting that maintaining proportions at 1/3 open brood and 2/3 capped brood is ideal during swarm season.

    I think it's important to develop wax makers before swarm prep, but can't see how it can be done without opening the brood nest. (Of course the other option is that you fill the hive with sugar water. Obviously this is NOT something to be encouraged, especially if you want a honey crop!)

    Comments?

    Matthew Davey

  7. #147
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post

    Excess incoming nectar
    |
    ----- Causes backfilling of the brood nest
    [INDENT]
    I think you need to add another line between these two. It isn't incoming nectar that causes backfilling of the broodnest...its the fact that there is no overhead comb space for nectar storage. This occurs because the colony has hit the top of the cavity...tree or hive. In a tree, there's no one there to provide overhead nectar storage space. In a bee hive there is...via supering/reversing/checkerboarding, or what have you.

  8. #148
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    matt, i am still in the process of consolidating my notes from last spring, but i did notice some wax building in my establishing hives (overwintered nucs) prior to swarm issue. (especially on foundationless frames, but also on frames of foundation in new honey supers).

    all of these overwintered nucs swarmed within a 4 - 5 week period from late march to early may.

    walt points out in his paper that the priorties are different for establishing hives, and this may be why i saw that.

    otherwise, most of the observations walt describes are what i saw as well.

    you are approaching your summer solstice there. did you have swarming this spring?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #149
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    I am very interested in all this limits stuff and still don't know anything about it specifically. I need to order Walts book but with limited funds. it is a no go right now. Actually I have reached a self imposed threshold only beekeeping. the only money that I will spend on bees from now on is money they have generated. No honey no money. sorry Walt.

    Anyway I am hoping someone can make a guesstimate on whether I unknowingly dealt with this cut off.

    I got my bees about May 10th of last year as a healthy 5 frame nuc with a queen that was already laying and out of room. I put them in a 10 frame box. They drew this comb out over about a two week period and started putting some nectar above brood. but for the most part this box became wall to wall brood. I had a second deep on the hive by June 1st that was all foundation. no empty drawn comb. the bees moved up and started drawing comb fairly well.

    I did notice during one inspection that the queen was actually laying eggs before cells where completely built. eventually she filled most of this deep with brood and I had added a med above that planning for the bees to store honey their. The queen by this time had moved back down tot eh lower deep and i did not think there was a lot of risk she would go all the way up to that medium to lay. But the bees would not move up into he med. Eventually I put sugar water back on the hive to entice them to go into the med. and they did finally start drawing that comb. but as I recall this was a delay of about a month. From thr time I put that med on the rest of the summer, nothing happened in my hive that seemed completely right to me.

    Maybe it was problems with getting bees to to take to foundation. maybe they had already started back filling the nest. I am not sure. But if there was anything I could have done to have gotten different results I would sure like to get a 20 20 hindsight education from it.

    I live in a city so the likelyhood that there was no flow at all is not likely. But as far as I can tell these bees stopped massing stores.

    I realize this year they should be stronger and more productive. I want to be prepared to make better management decisions in the coming season. I know this year I will be looking more at honey production and the steps to manage it than I was last year. but still their is a lot I think I missed and did not do. and I still don't know what that is.

    The good news is that two days ago this hive had a cleansing flight that startled me. so far wintering seems to be going very well for them. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  10. #150
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post

    The Posts of your which got Deleted were w/out context to anything in this Thread which came before them and seemed to be in response to PMs which deknow had sent you, so Replying in public w/out Dean's part was confusing and of limited value. Barry is the arbiter of these things. Take it up w/ him through PMs.


    Thanks for the tutorials. Luv u 2.
    I suppose I woudl hae to receive a PM to include it. Maybe Deknow should share his words with everyone. Conversation I am sent privately I tend to keep private. it is a confidentiality issue. If Dean sent something private I assume he has reasons to not say it publicly. As it is he has had nothing to say to me.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  11. #151
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I think you need to add another line between these two. It isn't incoming nectar that causes backfilling of the broodnest...its the fact that there is no overhead comb space for nectar storage. This occurs because the colony has hit the top of the cavity...tree or hive.
    Thanks, that's what I meant by having "Excess" in there, but you're right it needs to be clearer. Another thing that's really important that I missed is when a band of capped honey above the brood nest. It often doesn't help in having empty overhead comb space if there is a band of capped honey in between. That's why reversing brood boxes is done.

    So the revised version is:


    Excess incoming nectar
    |
    Insufficient overhead storage space AND/OR a band of capped honey above the brood nest
    |
    ----- Causes backfilling of the brood nest
    |
    ----- Causes reduction of space for the queen to lay
    |
    ----- Causes less open brood
    |
    ----- Causes excess Nurse bees
    |
    ----- Causes extra feeding of larvae
    |
    ----- Causes Queen cells
    |
    ----- Causes house bees to be used as storage tanks
    |
    ----- Causes wax builders to develop

    Matthew Davey

  12. #152
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    ... i did notice some wax building in my establishing hives (overwintered nucs) prior to swarm issue. (especially on foundationless frames, but also on frames of foundation in new honey supers)...
    Squarepeg, were they still in Nuc boxes when they did this?
    Also, did they run out of space well before swarm season?

    My thoughts are that wax building can start earlier if they run out of storage space when the brood nest is full of brood (brood batches, for example) and temperatures are still too cold for swarming. House bees are used for nectar storage and so produce wax. If the foundationless frames had drawn frames on either side and were directly above the brood nest, I would think they would build wax, especially in a Nuc.

    I have not had any of my hives swarm, but they are all in establishment mode. Even the two queen hive. I have been encouraging wax building for some time now as I have no spare comb. I looked through mine last Friday and still have heaps of brood!

    In terms of Repo cutoff, I realised that the major flow was starting last Friday. Because my hives have been already building comb there was no signs of "wax dumping" so I organised with my brother to have a look through his hives on the Saturday.

    When we went to one of his hives we found the queen was being balled in a plum size cluster of bees. (She is no longer.) We had a look in the hive and found queen cells. These cells were made of new wax and looked like they had just been capped. So it looks like Repo cutoff just occurred.

    My brother had put on a queen excluder on last time he inspected by himself and put a super on top. (I would have discouraged him from the excluder). So anyway, of course they didn't go through the excluder and started backfilling when they ran out of space.

    This is the same hive that last year, superseded and then swarmed. Although it was a few weeks later last year.

    We took the excluder of, so hopefully between now and when the queen(s) emerge, the flow will encourage them to start building wax and stay put.

    Matthew Davey

  13. #153
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    I have been able to read Walts book now.

    First I will say it has a lot of observation and conclusion in it. Not that those conclusions will not eventually be shown accurate. but this alone is a very slippery slope. I think the best discussion I have seen on it for a while is by Michael Bush on his web site under scientific studies. http://www.bushfarms.com/beesscientificstudies.htm

    It is simply an area full of pit falls. It is difficult to see for ourselves when obvious things are actually misleading.

    I will say some of what Walt describes answers what I saw in my hive last year. I believe now that I was drastically expending the brood nest and the bees responded with an immediate and powerful reduction of it. They also never had enough time to explore and accept added space. My observations would support that bees are not immediately welcoming of empty space placed above them. I more than once saw bees lined up along the top of their upper honey frames peering into the new empty space. A few brave souls could be found on the foundation of the upper box. This actually went on for several weeks. I did not break up the deep of honey they had made over their brood nest. So I don't know if I had if they would have taken to that med better or not. I do know that starting a hive by checker boarding even the brood nest increased their acceptance of it immediately. I then did the same with a deep above them with the same results. I then stopped the method due to warning from other beekeepers. Had I continued this on up into the honey supers. I had the impression I would have sen continued accelerated expansion. I will knwo more this year as this time I am not goign to listen to the warnings. If I kill off my colony, at least they will leave a ton of honey behind.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #154
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    >>Squarepeg, were they still in Nuc boxes when they did this?
    Also, did they run out of space well before swarm season?

    sorry matt, i just now saw your post.

    no, they overwintered in full sized deeps, that had been reduced down with a divider board.

    prior to swarm issue, the deeps had been filled with comb, and a medium super had been filled as well.

    i think my mistake was adding a second medium super in between the deep and the drawn super.

    i believe it created a 'barrier', and started the backfilling and swarming.

    in the future, i will add undrawn mediums of foundation on the very top, or the very bottom, keeping the drawn comb contiguous.

    (i like the ritecell foundation for honey supers, because i have a tendency to spin them too fast, and have frames with just wired wax foundation disintegrate in the extractor)

    as for walt's observations, i found all of them to be spot on in my experience.

    he and mike bush had asked for folks to experiment by putting in foundation and foundationless frames before swarm season. i tried it, and found that the bees will draw foundationless frames sooner and faster the frames with foundation.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #155
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    and found that the bees will draw foundationless frames sooner and faster the frames with foundation.
    My guess is because foundation smells foreign to them and also without foundation the bees can build what they want and not what you want to give them.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #156
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    could be ace. i felt like it might have to do with the foundationless frame presenting the bees with a 'space' to fill in between combs already being worked, as opposed to a 'wall' or 'barrier' that the foundation presented.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #157
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    If the wall was an issue than why would they go right to drawn comb from another hive?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #158
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    i think they would see drawn comb as something they could and would use right away, much different that a 'wall' don't ya think. i didn't feed last year, and found that most of the comb drawn for the year was primarily during the main flow.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #159
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    An update on my brother's hive.

    They have not swarmed. In fact there is now quite a bit of brood, both capped and open. There is also now a number of darker bees in the hive, even a number of black drones. But it doesn't add up!

    The only thing that makes sense is that the new queen had already been laying when the the old queen was balled.

    No new comb had been drawn, only existing honey comb built out much wider, starting to be capped. So we put on another super and alternated this with the top super, so every second comb has foundation.

    Matthew Davey

  20. #160
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    This is the same hive that last year, superseded and then swarmed. Although it was a few weeks later last year.
    Well, that figures.

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