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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Is the Drone Calendar equal to the Swarm Calendar?

    When will swarming start in relation to the first drones flying? Is this predictable?

    Last year (my first spring beek) it seemed like the drones were flying for about two week before the first swarms. May also be just when I started catching swarms and not really when they started.

    When do the bees make swarm cells compared to drone cells.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: Is the Drone Calendar equal to the Swarm Calendar?

    Drones are half the reproductive equation, swarms and virgins are the other half. I usually see drone cells on vigorous colonies 6-8 weeks before swarm season begins in earnest around here. Colonies will invest energy in drone production long before swarm season so that the queen maximizes here odds of passing on her genes to multiple virgins.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

    Default Re: Is the Drone Calendar equal to the Swarm Calendar?

    People for several hundred years at least have noted that a lot of drones precedes swarming. You probably could. Certainly when you see a lot of drones flying it's time to check things out and see if they are about to swarm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Is the Drone Calendar equal to the Swarm Calendar?

    From our stand point in managing all hives and looking for hives headed into swarming, which works better for us than trying to stop them, by the time the drones are flying the horse is out of the barn. We look for excessive drone brood early in the season and start managment techniques for the best use of that hive then whether it involves techniques such as checkerboarding or in some cases we'll manage the hive into swarm and make splits. I think JBJ's point of 6-8 weeks advance notice by watching for drone cells is key to managing hives. We always miss a few every season and when we see it look at it as a positve because we have a fresh queen, often a swarm caught and usually the swarm is pretty aggressive at build up in the new location or can be used to make and instant 2 queen unit in another yard.

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