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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Roseville, CA
    Posts
    109

    Default How to Prevent a Hive from Swarming

    There is lots of talk of swarms these days, and rightfully so, as it is the beginning of swarm season in some areas of the country.

    I split two hives in February and the splits were a success. The queens were mated successfully and are laying - great brood patterns. The parent hives were doing well too.

    I noticed the other day that both parent hives swarmed close to a week ago, as I spotted two virgin queens in them and nearly half the population was gone.

    I thought for sure that because I did an early split and they had plenty of room to grow, that I would be safe from swarming this year. Is there anything that I could have done from a preventative measure standpoint or do you just set out a swarm trap and hope for the best?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: How to Prevent a Hive from Swarming

    I would suggest you locate the writings of Walt Wright, they are reprinted in the "Point of View" section of this web site. From the very front(Home) page, look to the left.

    His is writings and observations are the first I have read that have very natural view of the bees processes and how they lead up to swarming.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Gordonsville, Tennessee
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How to Prevent a Hive from Swarming

    I have heard that if a hive wants to swarm, they will. I am going into my third year with no swarms yet but I know sooner or later it will happen. I perform what many see as a huge no no… I cut out swarm cells! I also replace old comb with fresh foundation (to keep them busy) and always let them supersede when I see a queen cell. The main thing that I do is anticipate and try to alleviate the pressure before it is there. I recently purchased a nuc so I can make a quick split if need be. This is what I do with success but it’s not what a lot of people call the “correct” method.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: How to Prevent a Hive from Swarming

    Quote Originally Posted by nativewillow View Post
    I have heard that if a hive wants to swarm, they will....
    i believe that is absolutely true nw, but there are conditions associated with the swarm process that make it more likely that they will 'want to'.

    i'm with jrb that walt's papers do a fantastic job describing the process, and have helped me alot to understand what i need to do to encourage the bees to not 'want to' swarm.

    i suggest sending walt, 'wcubed', a pm and order his full manuscript.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,361

    Default Re: How to Prevent a Hive from Swarming

    >I have heard that if a hive wants to swarm, they will.

    Once they've made up their mind, perhaps, but there is much you can do to prevent them from making up their mind to swarm...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: How to Prevent a Hive from Swarming


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