Can checkerboarding cause a swarm? Must have been too late.
I have a hive that was super-strong strong coming out of Winter and showing all signs of preparing to swarm -backfilled nectar etc.I thought I would head them off and add some empty brood frames in the bottom box while checker-boarding the top box. I also added a medium super of empty frames between the two. This hive was also re-queened with a queen-cell shortly afterwards.
These bees never filled out any of the empty frames, except for a few in the top box. And they still back-filled everything. I am pretty sure they swarmed, as I found a frame that had a slew of old queen cells on it that I never noticed before - after I checked the hive for a laying queen after the customary three week wait.
I checker-boarded these bees way back in late February. You would think it would have been early enough, but I guess they were determined to make it happen.
My question is this - can adding a super of empties between two full boxes cause enough of a separation for the bottom box to ignore the top box's honey dome?