Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split? - Page 6
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  1. #101
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Hot Springs, AR, USA
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    49

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    I think Mike you have answered your own question. Perhaps this is up to all who are willing to suffer the losses, and when enough resistant bee colonies exist queens could be A.I. just like they do now for other things. As this grows there would hopefully come a time when even large commercial operations could get enough queens and packages that their losses would be tolerable.

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  3. #102
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Deep Brook, NS, Canada
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    605

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    just remove the queen with a few frames and some bees - small split.
    That makes a lot of sense now especially if you already have capped swarm cells. Last year, I removed the frames with cells on them and they still swarmed. Removing the queen would fix that.
    I want bees that make up for my mistakes.

  4. #103
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
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    139

    Default

    Not necessarily, gnor. If there are enough bees (relative to space) for an after swarm, the first (few) virgin(s) to emerge will still swarm. If you have cells and you don't want to split with them you can
    1. Remove queen with enough brood/food for a split
    2. Leave colony tight for a few days until first cells are capped (so they are well fed) then
    3. put a super of comb in between brood boxes to relieve congestion before new queens emerge. 1 week window....
    I do this as a quick way to increase my odds. I don't like trying to destroy every queen cell (or all but 2...) as invariably I miss a runty one in the corner somewhere and wind up with a dinky queen. This would result in the same productivity of a swarmed colony plus the added work of me trying to change what the bees have done. When this happens I might as well have let them swarm....
    So even if you remove the old queen, you still need to keep an eye on the other factors that contribute to swarming....
    Happy beekeeping everyone

  5. #104
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
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    84

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    I for one am not doing anything to prevent mine from swarming. If
    they swarm I will lose some production it is true but I will gain more
    bees. If you split them all you are doing is making a swarm on your own
    terms. Swarming is not a bad thing. I have ten hives and that is all I want
    at this time. If I gain more that that I will be putting them in nucs and selling

    them.
    Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

  6. #105
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tehachapi, California, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    I hope those swarms aren't Africanized. Here in Central California hive management is key to preventing hot hives. Nothing is more demoralizing than having to euthanize a hot hive.

    http://pinkpages.chrisbacherconsulting.com/ This site was developed to capture George Imire's Pink Pages. He was a master beekeeper. You might want to find his notes on swarming. He wrote many article on the topic.

  7. #106
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    2,574

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Prior to and during swarm season, prevent the bees from forming a solid band of honey immediately over the brood area by removing every other honey frame and replacing it with an empty frame. Or let them swarm.
    David Matlock

  8. #107
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
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    84

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    We really don't have to worry about Africanized bees here in East Tennessee, so that is a non issue.

  9. #108
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    1,464

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    Prior to and during swarm season, prevent the bees from forming a solid band of honey immediately over the brood area by removing every other honey frame and replacing it with an empty frame. Or let them swarm.
    This is not my experience. I quite like a band of honey near top of top brood box. Once I get this and nectar/honey in first honey super, I can remove the queen excluder. I find an excluder to be a significant cause of getting nectar in the brood nest. I then focus on maintaining storage space for honey and thereby keeping the brood nest open. Add honey supers and extract weekly(return wet supers to hive) during peak of the flow.

    Band of honey generally keeps the queen in the brood boxes.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  10. #109
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    166

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Check out Wally Shore's description of a Snelgrove Board ( England ) and it's many uses. I used it last successfully. I looked forward to using it htis year but - believe it or not - no swarm cells with 8 foraging hives. I guess they were too busy filling honey supers this year. I think I will not be so lucky next year. http://www.wbka.com/wp-content/uploa...Wally-Shaw.pdf

  11. #110
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    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
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    299

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    Of course I don't pull frames this often, I just tip up every brood box and look under it. That will tell me whether we're still on my plan or whether I need to slap a SB on them to interrupt their plan. There is no substitute for very close monitoring.

    Nancy
    Nancy, would you be willing to share what exactly you look for when you tip up every brood box and look under it?

    I assume this means you look under every box, but if you could share what specifically you look for, and how you proceed depending on what you see - I'd be appreciative.

    Thanks.

  12. #111
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    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Worth reading Wally Shaw for Swarm prevention and increases plus other options for managing bees. I cannot find queens, old eyes, so I move all brood and queen cells above a QE early in the day. Then, late in the day, remove the QE and install the SB plus syrup feed as there are very few foragers above the SB. SB approach allows continuing foraging so put on some supers below the SB too.

    THE MANY USES OF A SNELGROVE BOARD PART 1 – AN INTRODUCTION TO L. E. SNELGOVE AND HIS BOARD (by M.W. Shaw, Anglesey Beekeepers’ Association)

  13. #112
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Germany
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    2

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    Question for the experienced beekeepers here. Is it feasible, or at least realistic to expect to prevent swarming without performing a spring split?

    This year in my apiary, swarming was a major issue. I noticed that even hives that I took multiple frames of brood, STILL swarmed.

    To my dismay, I even found that colonies that had swarmed in June, decided to swarm AGAIN in mid August.

    My area didn't get much of a summer dearth this year, due to favorable weather.

    The whole experience made me seriously doubt the feasibility of attempting to control swarming without performing a significant spring split. Seemed to me like regardless of how many frames of brood I stole, the colony would just gather strength again and the first decision they'd make is SWARM. Not "store food for winter".

    Do you think my challenges with swarming were related to the fact that I started with strong nucs (not just nucs, these were very strong nucs), rather than over wintered colonies?
    Bees are not in the habit of walking over blocked honeycombs.
    In the spring it happens that the honeycomb is covered up before the honey frame is put on. As a result, the brood space becomes too small and the bees start to swarm.
    What can I do against it !?
    Remove some honeycombs from the bees in the brood chamber and hang them in the honey room. Once the young bees have hatched, these honeycombs can be removed and the honey room can be refilled with honeycombs. who is afraid that he has lost because the honey room is too small, put a frame on top. An examination for queen cells is still mandatory!

    I am sorry for my bad english me is A man vrom Bawarian (Germany)

  14. #113
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    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    4,159

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    What spice snow is describing, in case you are having trouble following the translation, is removing brood comb with capped bands of honey to the super, replacing them with empty comb, and allowing the brood to emerge.from the super instead. Once the brood has emerged, he recommends putting empty drawn comb back in the super.

    This manipulation helps to create more laying space for the queen by not confining her with a band of capped honey.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #114
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    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    1,641

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Quote Originally Posted by trishbookworm View Post
    The Steppler method (run the bees in 1 deep brood chamber until mid spring, add a deep with drawn comb, once the bees hatch out, remove second deep) has a lot in common with the Oh Henry method (see https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j...ho3_Aqa_OzXEwv or google Jones, Henry A radical cure for the swarming habit of bees).
    The above employ the same principle as used in Russian/Ukrainian 6-frame stacks which return a commercial honey harvest, yet do not swarm due to their brood nest size restriction. So - same outcome, but without the slaughter (in the case of Henry Jones' method).

    Not being a Russian speaker I only know the basics of this technique - Greg is the guy to discuss this with for the fine details.
    LJ


    is
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  16. #115
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    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    5,604

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Thank you. It went over my head until you clarified.

    I use this technique as well with my all-mediums set up during the swarm season. Frames starting to be backfilled that still have some sealed brood are moved up into the supers and are replaced in the brood nest with drawn brood comb. Helps to keep the queen busy and the brood nest open.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    What spice snow is describing, in case you are having trouble following the translation,
    To everything there is a season....

  17. #116
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    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Using the double screen division board like in Post #111 also accomplishes separating a great part of the capped and open brood away from the foragers. I think that is the common basic factor of these methods. I do it when I see 6 frames of mostly capped brood. Some people manage to work closer to the line, but in my short season a swarm is nearly a total loss of production for that season. Destroying queen cells is risky as it is easy to miss one.
    Frank

  18. #117
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Putting the brood up above the excluder to emerge and replacing with drawn comb sounds like the basics of Roland's method. With the queen restricted to only one box I dont think much honey gets put in there but even if it did, it would get moved above the excluder. One size box is king in that method.
    Frank

  19. #118
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,256

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Thanks for the clarification JW. I thought that's what Spice Snow was getting at but wasn't sure. I am always looking for swarm control methods. Swarms are the thorn in my side and am finding that I really need to up my game. J

  20. #119

    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    Snelgrove boars? Spring splits? Naaa...

    Too much work. Like Bro Adam said: never weaken your hives. I never bleed them or remove old queens. In fact I have four year old queens that produce a lot of honey and still don't swarm.

    You can do this with Buckfast bees. That's because they are not Carnica :-) and of course they've been selected for low swarm tendencies.

    How do you select for low swarm tendency? That's fairly easy. You do not count the number of swarm cells. No. You observe the queen while swarm cells are build. If the queen continues to lay eggs without any pause although swarm cells are build and cared for, that's the queen you want.

    If you have a queen that shuts down the broodnest once the first swarm cells appear, that's a swarm machine.

    Weed out the swarm fever bees. Best way to make beekeeping a bliss.

    The rest is clipping one wing, having a landing board reaching to the ground (so the queen can crawl up again) and looking for swarm cells every two weeks in the season. That's it. It is also helpful to adapt the size of the broodnest to the ability of the queen to lay eggs. I use a follower board in a square Brother Adam hive (Dadant frames) to achieve that.

    Start selecting and weeding.

  21. #120
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    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Is it feasible to control swarming without performing a spring split?

    That's interesting Bernard. Thanks for your post. J

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