late season swarm prevention
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    697

    Default late season swarm prevention

    I have a hive in a 6 frame Lyson nuc box. This hive was weak but now it has almost filled the 2nd nuc box i put on top of the first. Was hoping they would fill the second box with honey and i was going to overwinter them in there. But the queen has been laying like crazy in the 2nd box and they are drawing comb like mad. They still have about three deep frames left to fill out. Question is should i transfer them into a 10 frame deep and slap a honey super on top of them? Because i am concerned about them swarming.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,771

    Default Re: late season swarm prevention

    Swarming is a spring activity, not fall. Doesn't sound like a crowding issue either.Ask some locals how common is September swarming and how common is a super filled in September. Neither here.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    697

    Default

    OK thanks just thought maybe if they got over crowded they would swarm out.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,897

    Default Re: late season swarm prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    OK thanks just thought maybe if they got over crowded they would swarm out.
    They totally could swarm out even in September if very crowded (granted good weather).
    Last year I had to temporarily do an emergency split to stop a spilling out nuc from swarming in September (was no equipment to expand).
    In a couple of weeks I just recombined the pieces back.
    You can expand temporarily just to calm them down a bit until they shrink down on their own.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    If they are still actively drawing comb that is a good indication you should be giving space. Typically in my area they don't draw any comb after mid July during a wet year, no later than June in a dry year.

    I pulled all remaining supers 3-4 weeks ago.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,140

    Default Re: late season swarm prevention

    Sounds like they are active enough to swarm. My season is different from yours, but I had a nuc swarm a week ago. We are just getting into our fall flow. Goldenrod hasn't bloomed yet.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,736

    Default Re: late season swarm prevention

    I think some hives are genetically predisposed to swarming in the fall. A hive that swarmed last year around October 1st just swarmed on me today. It was the only hive out of 17 that had queen cells in it and there was plenty of open real estate so crowding was not the issue. Interestingly, while there were no eggs in the hive, the youngest brood was just hatched larvae and one of the queen cells I found was already opened.

    BTW, I captured the swarm and have the queen in a clip. That nuc will get plenty of resources to help them make it through winter including brood from some of the other hives.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,140

    Default Re: late season swarm prevention

    Good point JWP. I wonder if my swarm is due to the feral hives. Is yours from feral genetics?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,736

    Default Re: late season swarm prevention

    This particular hive is originally from a Kona queen, 4 maybe 5 generations ago, but feral genetics may have played a part. One of my feral daughters is storing honey/syrup like crazy. Just as her mother did last year. Be nice if we had a fall flow instead of feeding sugar water.

    FYI, there was another frame with capped cells on it. I moved that frame to one of my failed nucs that still had a few bees minding the fort. They got the frame with attached nurse bees so we will see what happens there. I should know in a few days if the combined mating nuc's queen made it back safely. She should be emerged and getting ready to go out and kill a few drones.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: late season swarm prevention

    Bees SHOULDN"T swarm in fall. I had a hive swarm that I was not feeding at all, in fact hoping to get fall honey. Her 1 sister swarmed, the other was trying to. THose I was feeding so I wasn't as surprised. I think it is genetic and I will be requeening the stinkers.

    Sadly I got a very brief warning - queen cells that I cut, and I stopped feeding, and I added space - but these girls were on a (suicide) mission. Finally for the last hive, which had eggs in the queen cups, I took half the comb and bees out and gave them empty frames for a few days. And I gave them another deep. Hope it works, have a mating nuc ready if it doesn't.

    So yes give space, especially if you are feeding!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Twin Cities/MN
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: late season swarm prevention

    Was doing a mite test today and the frame I pulled had about 5 queen cells on it. The hive is pretty packed and the supers were taken off a couple of weeks ago because they weren't doing anything with it all summer. Guess we will find out if its a swarm or supersede. Running 3 brood into winter with 3rd brood completely drawn with only honey

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