One of my strongest hives, which I hope will be a good honey producer, has been making lots of swarm cells. I want to try to keep this colony strong and large but am having some difficulty. Here's the chain of events:
8 days ago I checked the hive and found swarm cells for the first time this season. hive is packed with bees. I removed two frames of brood with swarm cells and one of honey/pollen and made a nuc split. I replaced the removed frames with frames with foundation. Split is nearby and foragers fly back
Yesterday I checked again (7 days after the split) and found more swarm cells in the big hive. I made another nuc split. The bees are drawing out the new frames. But since the hive would be weakened at this point, I decided to replace these removed frames with one frame of foundation and two frames from a double nuc set up which I intend to use to supply other hives (Thanks you, Michael Palmer). One frame had brood in all stages, the other had a lot of empty cells and some brood. I shook the bees off these frames before moving them.
I did not see the queen but there were lots of eggs, so I'm half assuming she was still there. I destroyed any remaining queen cells. I will need to check in 5 days for fresh eggs.
Now, I'm the first to admit that this is probably a pretty lame procedure. At the moment I didn't have proper equipment to do anything else, and didn't see any other immediate solutions to keeping the hive string but preventing swarming. What's a good idea?
I thought maybe use something like the Demaree method--that is, make sure the queen is in lower box, add QE, then a super and QE, then the deep with the swarm cells, and then another QE and more supers if needed. That would be a two queen hive.
But I've never done this. Seems like a pain in the butt, but maybe the best solution? What are the pros and cons?
Any other solutions?
Let me note that I'm happy to have the increase and will be aggressively splitting hives that aren't for honey. But I want to keep this hive as a honey producer.