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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    St. Clements, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    15

    Default What causes multiple swarms

    I have a hive that was preparing to swarm. I split it into 3. The split with the original queen swarmed a few days later (must of missed a queen cell). Now one of the other splits has given off two swarms that I could not catch. They were queenless for about a week. I had given them plenty of room with two deeps. I thought the first queen to hatch would kill the other queens. What conditions determine if the virgin queen will kill the other queens vs swarming? Should I have removed all but one queen cell when I made each split?

    Should I combine the 3 hives together now that they are considerably weaker or wait till until fall and see how they build up?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: What causes multiple swarms

    It is still early in the year If you have a queen in each hive and they are laying I would go ahead and let them grow. Check them weekly any swarm cells or any queen cells destroy them all. My mentor told me if you are having these kind of problems clip the queens wing so she can't fly. I have never done that I just eat queen cells if they pop up. Royal jelly tastes good and besides it all protien.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hodgenville, KY
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: What causes multiple swarms

    I've had hives that I could keep from swarming and others that I could not. Sometimes when a hive is wanting to swarm, you cannot stop it from doing that. That is their intent and no matter how much you weaken it, they will do it anyway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,386

    Default Re: What causes multiple swarms

    They continue to swarm until they think the population is at the correct level. The problem is sometimes that's one swarm and some colonies swarm themselves to death. So they obviously don't all have the same level in mind...

    I've never found removing queen cells or clipping queens to be an effective solution at all. Usually you just end up queenless...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,082

    Default Re: What causes multiple swarms

    When dealing with a swarmy hive perhaps the best thing to do would be to remove the queen with open brood to another hive box at the first signs of swarming so as to be able keep her from leaving with a swarm, then weekly remove as many queen cups and cells as you can find from the swarmy hive until the hive swarms itself out, if the hive ends up with a new queen after its all over then all is well and good, if not then you can reunite the old queen back into the original hive.......Bill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: What causes multiple swarms

    I had a hive that I caught last year as a swarm. This year it swarmed itself out of existence. I caught two of the swarms and moved a lot of queen cells but the still kept it up til the last swarm took all the bees. I think a better solution is that when you see a swarm cells is to go ahead and remove the queen and a couple of frames to another hive leaving the hive to believe they have swarmed and maybe they will give it up. It works sometimes at least and you end up catching all your "swarms".

    psisk

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