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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    209

    Default Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    After a month of goldenrod blooming here there is finally a good flow on. A couple of hives that were nearly void of stores two weeks ago are seriously packing it in. They have backfilled the broodnest pretty solidly. One hive a had a frame of eggs, but the other had really had no place for the queen to lay. Do I need to worry about them swarming this time of year? I want them to cure this down as most of what's there isn't cured and they are still too light in my opinion.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Waterville, NY
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    good question zhiv9 I would like to hear about this one too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    Anyone?
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    I'm also curious.

    As I watched some hives eat into their stores at the end of august and start raising brood there, I've been hoping they would do something similar. I also figure they like to spread the nectar around to help cure it faster and move it when they need to...or perhaps when they get the chance(like if tomorrow is a rainy day).

    Brood nests do contract, but I do have two hives where it's almost non-existant now. But at least one of those seems to have had a failing queen. Hopefully they will accept the new queen and we'll see if they make some space for her.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Napoleon, OH
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    You're farther north than I am, so I don't know if my experience is relevant to your situation or not. It's only happened a couple of times, but I have had hives swarm in September. Books say that August/September swarms are not unusual, but we all know that bees don't read the literature........

    My observation hive is backfilling the broodnest as we speak. I'm hoping they're just backing off the brood rearing for winter, but I'll let you know how it turns out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    We have a few years behind us, and have never had a fall swarm. I do think about it when we pull supers and pack all of those bees into two boxes. This year our Sainfoin is coming back into bloom and again I am wondering about swarms. Our hives are heavier than we have ever had them at this time of the year. I doubt we will have to feed any this fall.
    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    Quote Originally Posted by zookeeper View Post
    You're farther north than I am, so I don't know if my experience is relevant to your situation or not. It's only happened a couple of times, but I have had hives swarm in September. Books say that August/September swarms are not unusual,
    Seeley found the fall flow the second most likely time for swarms. I figure my nectar flows were probably similar to his. It's a possibility but the hives I'm worried about were nucs, they only have about 1/2 frame of capped honey, not a particularly strong population and if they consolidated some of the nectar they would have room to lay.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Smiths Creek, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    im near port huron MI and i just caught two swarms in 5 days from my four hives. im worried i took the honey supers off too early. planning on combining the two swarms into one and see if they can prep for winter. but this is my first year, so im still learning

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    The trick of your situation to me seems that your new queens the swarm left behind are probably a ways yet from being ready to mate. Your hives probably raised a few drones with the swarm prep, but there might not be a lot of drone diversity in the area right now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,508

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    Backfilling the brood nest is how the workers shut down the brood rearing. It's getting towards that time...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    Manly wrote in "Honey Farming" that inspection every nine days and removing all queen cells would prevent swarming. An old book but I plan to try it. Any thoughts?
    Easy for me with only four hives.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    Look at the site of the previous commenter for his take on that practice.

    I see it as a band-aid solution at best. Why not try and understand the circumstances which trigger swarming and address it before they make queen cells?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,768

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    There is a decent chance of swarming any time the bees are congested, but it certainly occurs more often in the spring than in the fall. Bees swarm more often in the spring when the queen is laying at a high rate, drones are plentiful, and nectar/pollen are coming in with a strong flow on. The hive is the most prosperous at that point and the bees instinctively feel like reproducing the colony, or swarming. In the fall the best conditions for swarming are generally not there, hive population is declining because a large amount of the field bees have worked themselves to death from the earlier main flow, drones are not reared in large quantities, the queen's rate of egg laying has slowed, and in many areas of the country the fall flow is just a drop in the bucket compared to the earlier flows as far as incoming nectar. Not the best conditions for swarming as far as the colony is concerned. Now, if you live where strong fall flows are the rule, and you have good strong hives, and the weather is warm and sunny, then yes you can get a swarm if they get cramped up, but its still not nearly as likely than in the springtime or early summer.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Backfilling the broodnest in fall

    Quote Originally Posted by julysun View Post
    Manly wrote in "Honey Farming" that inspection every nine days and removing all queen cells would prevent swarming. An old book but I plan to try it. Any thoughts?
    Manly in his book does not say that.

    Here in his own words, from page 126: " I had better say at once, to avoid misunderstanding, that the purpose of regular examinations is not to prevent the bees from building queen-cells, but to preclude the loss of swarms when the bees do build them."

    Then, a few paragraphs down, on page 127, he concludes about the 9 day interval inspections:

    "I hope I have now made it clear that this system of routine examinations of colonies is in no way swarm prevention in a sense of being an attempt to restrain the bees from building queen-cells for the purpose of swarming, for it is no such thing"

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