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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have eight hives that wintered well and are strong. Seems that feeding them pollen early pushes production. These hives are located away from inhabited property.

Here is my question. What is wrong with putting up multiple swarm traps and allowing the bees to do their own splits instead of opening the hives and manipulating them manually? I understand that a downside to this in residential areas would be trouble for your neighbors but I'm wondering if bees can be guided through providing enough habitat to entice them to use the swarm traps?
I would love to hear opinions about doing this.:unsure:
 

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Lot of issues with that:

1. There is no guarantee your swarm traps will catch the swarms in question.
2. A hive will often cast swarm after swarm after swarm to the point where they will swarm themselves to death if not dealt with.
3. If you're looking to get a honey crop you'll want all the bees in the hive making honey, not making more colonies.
4. When they are done swarming there is no guarantee a new virgin will return from a mating flight turning the hive queenless.

It's best to learn how to properly control swarms. It's easy enough to tip your boxes back and just look at the bottom of the frames for cups/cells. Adding space, along with a lot of other techniques can keep them kept in your equipment and producing with minimal effort.

If you look into Skep beekeeping they allowed their hives to swarm so they could rehive them into new skeps. However, this practice is nearly entirely dead due to far superior hive keeping methods and techniques.

Good thought, but there is a reason why none of us do it.
 

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TANSTAAFL! You will not have good luck with that plan. Any profitable endeavor requires planning and work. You are looking for a free lunch and---see original remark.
 

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Like the old saying, "There is a difference between being a beekeeper and a beehaver." Not managing your bees quickly puts you in the beehaver group - for however long that stint lasts.
 

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I usually try to have a couple hive bodies out with old comb anyway in case I miss something. Last year I had two swarm traps heavy with bee activity and had a suspicion I would find swarm mode hives on my next inspection, and sure enough. Queens were still present and I did a couple splits. The scouting bees quickly went away, so I assume they were mine. That said, I wouldn't count on it either. Without hive inspections and manipulation needed, you won't have the productivity that can be attained in beekeeping. You have to keep convincing the bees they aren't ready to swarm and don't have enough honey yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for all your replies. I have much to think about. So much of this (hobby) is about learning. I will get a system down for doing manual swarm control. Just need to find what works for me. I love this community!
 

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Thank you for all your replies. I have much to think about. So much of this (hobby) is about learning. I will get a system down for doing manual swarm control. Just need to find what works for me. I love this community!
As well you "should" split the hives that have the best characteristics, not the ones who get to swarming first.

split from the best for gain/replacement, use the worst for NUC/Split building to hopefully make small gains in you characteristics.

random events is a plan, there could however be a better one.

GG
 

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Good point GG. If you always split with swarm cells are build your apiary from swarms, you'll likely end up with really swarmy bees.

I hate swarmy bees and swarming is a trait I definitely don't encourage in breeding. My best breeder queen is 4 years old, 5 boxes high, and has never drawn a swarm cell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good thought. Apimaye is a great hive, just not easy to work with in terms of flipping the boxes up to check and the brood box is fused to the bottom board so there is no swapping them around unless you do it frame by frame.
They are starting to make those components separate now but that is not what I have. Much to learn and adapt to.
 
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