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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Austin,Texas
    Posts
    22

    Default Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    Hey all,
    I have tried to find any and all info pertaining to this but I have come up with no real answers yet so I hope that y'all can help me. I'm going into my second year of keeping bees. After much trial and error last season,my hive overwintered very well and the hive has really taken off! I went outside yesterday and found my hive swarming. I found the bundle of bees hanging out on a branch just above the hive and I cut the swarm down and put them into a temporary box. I then realized that the queen is clipped so for the most part ( now) I realize that she can't go that far. I finally found where the queen was hiding ( under my bottom board) and put her back into the hive. I only did this because I'm actually waiting on my extra gear to arrive to I can make a split. I went through the entire hive and ended up checker boarding through the brood chamber. I did find about 2-3 queen cells,one being capped. I realize that once that new queen is ready to go,the bees will swarm and do what they do. I tried to fix the problem temporarily by placing the queen excluder on the bottom of the hive. I will not keep this here for long. I just cannot seem to be able to wrap my head around what I need to do now. Do I split the hive? Do I make an artificial swarm? Are there any clear and concise articles on how to split this hive available? It just seems that the more I read about splitting or the more videos that I watch on it< I just become more confused. Please,somebody walk me through this! Thanks for the replies!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    I'm not an expert either, but couldn't you put the frame with the (capped) queen cell in the temporary box (I'm assuming it will function as a hive body)? Just make sure your clipped queen is not on there too. Maybe also put in a frame of honey. When your new gear arrives transfer them all into the new hive, and add a frame of brood from the original hive to keep things going until the new queen is mated and laying.
    Last edited by Irmo; 04-01-2013 at 01:17 PM. Reason: typos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,980

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    This page offers you some splitting options:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,606

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    With the excluder on the bottom, the drones will all die trying to get out, and they will clog the excluder, possibly to the point that none of the bees can get out.

    They will still swarm with a clipped queen. Eventually they will leave with one of the virgins.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,859

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    This is why I think that every beekeeper needs a nuc box. You can take the queen that wants to swarm, a couple frames of brood (no queen cells) and shake bees from the hive into the nuc. This way you can swarm for them with the number of bees that you want. If you do this before they actually make cells, you can stop them from swarming. With queen cells made, you could still get an afterswarm so in this case I would take extra bees and frames of brood. You can give them back after the cells hatch and the swarm instinct is gone. The reason to give the brood and bees back is if you want honey from your hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Austin,Texas
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    I'm actually making a nuc right now as we speak! Is it really as easy as IRMO states? I have gone through my boxes and finding that clipped queen seems just about impossible now. Michael, I'm going to remove the excluder tomorrow. That was some "advice" that one of our local bee-guru's passed along and it seems counter productive. So,could I just remove the frames with the queen cells and some brood/nurse bees to another box or do I need to leave the cells in my actual hive and then try to locate the queen to move?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,439

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    It works better if you move the queen so she thinks she's swarmed. If you have a place to put the nuc a few miles away that's advised as well but not necessary, you can always bring it back after a few 4-5 days and the bees have forgotten about their old home.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,606

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    >That was some "advice" that one of our local bee-guru's passed along and it seems counter productive.

    Well, it does keep the clipped queen from leaving...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,691

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    It also does have its purpose, though. I have saved serveral hives from imminent swarming, although I use this technique only for extreme emergencies.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,859

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    I have looked for and found the old queen in hives ready to swarm (they were marked, so I was pretty sure I could find them if they hadn't left yet). I would actually be surprised if an excluder would stop one. They don't look much different than a worker bee except their legs look longer.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    I did an aggressive hive split to accommodate 4 newly hatched queens.
    I would recommend you keep all of your queens in case some did not make it back after mating flight.
    Here are my steps for a split:
    1) Take a frame of sealed brood, one frame of pollen/honey, one frame of worker/nurse bees mix to transfer into a nuc. No need to shake off any bees. So 3 frames total into a nuc box.
    2) Feed them syrup and patty to get them all going.
    1A) When taking the 3 frame of bees into a nuc, also take the old (original) queen with them.
    1B) Now your hive is left with 3 queen cells. One is certain because it was already sealed. You can leave this queen cell inside the current hive to hatch.
    1C) The other 2 queen cells is going to hatch in a week or so after they are seal also. I put mini wire window cages to cover
    these cells. http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ade+queen+cage
    So they will not kill each others after hatching.
    1D) After the 2 queens had hatched do the same split in step 1 above. Queen mating flight in a week or so after that.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Clipped queen wants to swarm!

    You can use what is called the Demaree Method. If you are operating with a double deep then put her and some brood in one brood chamber and set it aside. Remove all queen cells from broth brood boxes. Put a box, an excluder, then box with queen on the top. You could also put her in a super with drawn combs above an excluder. The bees will draw more queen cells so you must remove them again in eight or ten days. After the eight or ten days switch the queen and the boxes. Remove queen cells in bottom box again in eight or ten days. By that point the swarm impulse will have passed. You can super below the queen if you have brood in the box where she is. If virgin queens emerge then all bets are off.

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