Hi guys, first time poster... Have gone and done as much reading as I can here, but given the time senstive nature of things, I think a personalized answer is the only thing that's going to do the trick here. I've tried to read over the rules, but I am flipping out!
BLUF: I have a hive that I think is preparing to swarm. The first of four or five queen cells have hatched, and the virgin queen is wandering around the hive piping. I have no idea what to do.
OK. What the heck to I do?
This hive swarmed last week... the first swarm of this hive, to my knowledge. Ideally, I don't want them to swarm, and I just want to continue to rear this hive at full strength... I do however have an empty box with some wax frames (and some old honey) prepared that I could use to found a second hive. I built up a bottom board and lid for it last week in a panic when they were swarming. Unfortunately, when they swarmed last week, they did so *way* out of reach, and there was nothing I could do to recover them. I have no queen pheremone to attract them to my empty box, an the branch they swarmed to was far too high to get at. I'm afraid they might do that again.
What's my best course of action?
Throw into the mix that I would like to *make* some queen pheremone to help with swarm season in the future, which I understand you can do by smooshing up virgin queens and soaking them in alcohol. I think that sounds like a neat trick, and maybe now is the time to do that, if it aligns with my goals in managing these hives.