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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    BETHEL, NC USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Now what to do and expect?

    Yesterday I did a complete hive breakdown and in the process i found 2 swarm cells. looked like fangs hangin off the bottom of the frame. So here is what I did. Cleaned brood comb from between and collected brood in cells. Bees were over flowing the top so I thought I would swap places with bottom hive body (med) with the second brood box (deep) to give them more room. I checker boarded a few empty frames of foundation against brood frames (for swarm control). I never found the queen. Found larva, capped brood, and emerging brood. I didn't check much for eggs but confident they were there. Then took the frame (med) with swarm cells and set it aside (no queen). Pulled brood (2) frames 2 honey and some empty comb (from dead out) and placed on top of the hive. All this after I swept the bees off the frames and added a queen excluder. Then left them for the night. I took the brood comb I cleaned out between the frames and disected to look for mites (none seen). This afternoon I pulled the top portion of hives, above the queen excluder, off and set them facing south perpendicular to the original. Put a deep, with drawn comb, on the medium lower box with the swarm cells. To hopefully draw the bees up to have all deep bood boxes. Went back to the original box and shook bees off in to the new hive. Now my goal is to prevent swarming, have all deep frames for brood boxes, start a new hive, and have honey this year I can pull of to sell. Now what? What did I do wrong what did I do right? thank you Doeboy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Now what to do and expect?

    Lots of stuff going on. If I read right, you took the swarm cells and put them in another hive with a few frames of brood and workers. I've done same with great success.

    As far as preventing swarming, IMHO you're throwing the dice. They swarm to propagate during good times and survive during bad. Many feel once their set on swarming, not much will change their mind. I've tried every standard method and none with the same result. The more I fiddled, the weaker my hives.

    I now just look for opportunities to split and leave well enough alone. Same success with the least effort.

    I suggest you new use your bees as the best resource for what to do.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: Now what to do and expect?

    Usually, if the swarm cells are capped, they have already swarmed. If not and they swarm anyway, they will need one of the those cells in the hive, otherwise they could end up queenless.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    BETHEL, NC USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Now what to do and expect?

    Thank you Throrope. There were a total of three swarm cells in different levels, 2 on the bottom of top frames and one on botton of bottom frame. The one to itself was damaged so it was scrapped off. I was thinking of trading places with the hives to allow the workers to bring in food for the new smaller hive. But I'm trying to get ready for the 6 packages and 2 queens I have coming in on the 19th. Now that I have this split how long should I leave it alone. The swarm cells are capped dark yellow/orange. Is there a way to predict the age with in a day or two? Doeboy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Now what to do and expect?

    How long is a good question. I'd start with Michael Bush's bee math as a minimum and be patient thereafter. Once hatched, she will need to mate and weather can create delays. Finding a virgin or young queen is very difficult. I'd monitor entrance activity and look for eggs long after you anticipate finding them. If you introduce a package or queen into a small but active colony, kiss your investment good bye.

    Bees don't read books and go about their business with no regard to our actions or desires. I doubt they know we exist. They do more for themselves than we can do for them.

    IMHO your efforts are better now spent on your new arrivals. If successful, your operation will by twice mine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Now what to do and expect?

    Your biggest and costliest mistake was interpreting supersedure cells as swarm cells. If the colony has already terminated the old queen (no eggs) they may be hopelessly queenless.

    I keep trying to dispel that old wives tale of swarm cells are on the bottom of frames and supersedure cells are on the face of the comb. While it's generally true of first year colonies in the establishment mode, it doesn't hold up for overwintered colonies - especially those wintered in multiple boxes. Supersedure cells are TYPICALLY off the bottom bars of fully established colonies.

    Further, have never seen a colony with only 3 cells swarm. Up to 6 cells is typically only supersedure.

    Walt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    BETHEL, NC USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Now what to do and expect?

    update on hive. Checked hives today and queen cells are still there no brood no eggs no queen and bees are not happy. Got another split I did on 4/14 no eggs only two of 3 qc in hive. Now I'm thinking that I need to combine the two splits and make one strong one. Any ideas anyone? I checked number one hive and found swarm cells, brood, eggs and larva, but no queen. I made a split installed hive body on top over queen excluder, will make new hive in the morning. guidence please. thanks Doeboy

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