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Alternative to splitting for swarm control

2330 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  garlorco
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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· Super Moderator
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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.
 

· Super Moderator
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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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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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