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Does the Swarm take the old queen, I was thinking so? The reason for the question is this. If the old queen goes with the swarm that might be a good thing. You get a new queen for the price of a couple of pounds of bees? In no time the new queen should replace the old stock of bees. It would also break the brood cycle and maybe naturally affect the mites cycle? I guess you would lose honey production for a period of time depending on the swarm date. But is it really that much of a problem as to disturb the hive and dig out swarm cells? I think it would also be a plus to get a new queen which was made by YOUR hive instead of one from thousands of miles away in a different climate. Are any of you not really that concerned about swarming? Just wondering.
Thanks in advance.
The beginner
 

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Yes old queen goes, new queen stays. Most beeks are very concerned about swarming thats why we manage the hives not to swarm, then we make splits which does accomplish all of the goals and concerns you stated. And you can graft your own queens.
 

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a new queen is cheaper than a couple pounds of bees, because catching your swarms isnt always possible. I think the best way to go about it is to make a split when you see swarm cells, just put them in a nuc or regular hive with entrace reducer and a couple frames of capped brood and a frame or two of honey then you still have your bees and also a new hive with a queen that is all your own.
 

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Benefits to the bees themselves perhaps, but not the a beekeeper. Keeping bees from swarming is what is done by beekeepers in order to maximize the honey crop.
 

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The swarm takes food with them when they leave. If the new queen has not emerged or mated that is two opportunities for failure. Florida queen breeders ship all the way to Canada successfully, so it really is not like plants. Weaver gets there Buckfast drone semen from out of the country, can't get much further than that.
 

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Beginnerhives,

If your given lemons, make lemonade!

Swarming is natures way of reproducing these honey bee colonies. Rather than fight it, use it to your advantage. This forum is full of ways to "manage" our bee's natural urge to swarm in ways to avoid the loss of bees and honey production. It's just basic animal husbandry and this is an excellent teaching and learning forum to achieve those goals.

Enjoy and keep reading and asking questions! Been playing with bees on and off since the late 70's and I'm still reading, asking questions, and learning!
 

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In no time the new queen should replace the old stock of bees.
In the northern latitudes, that "no time" may just be the time needed for you to get a honey crop.

I think the plus side of swarming is, if you start with good stock, that your feral bee population is strengthened. At your cost perhaps, but strengthened.

Wayne
 

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of course, that's if you r objective is culling increased honey. If not, then not much of an issue.

The only issue to allowing swarms to go their way in an urban area is that there are those concerned with where the swarm ends up. It's fine if they choose a tree or log in some out of the way place, but if they end up in a neighbors wall or garage or a playground, people get excitable.

Big Bear
 

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Since I changed how I configure my hives for honey production I have had almost no swarms. Yet my hives are stronger than they ever were - I adopted my current configuration to reduce the harm done by toads that were depopulating my hives, but one beneficial side-effect, among many, has been the almost total elimination of swarms (going on four years now).

I usually see several swarms each season, they come from outside my apiary and take up residence in some of my old, retired, idle equipment, which is stacked adjacent to my apiary. I think of it as my stack of swarm traps. It's about the only way I've found to reliably "hive" most of these usually AHB swarms, (some of which are sometimes seen clustering on bushes/trees on my property). I just requeen them with one of my own cultured queen cells, before moving them into the apiary. Several years ago there was an older dilapidated RV trailer on the property immediately adjacent to the Northwestern corner of my own property. There was a huge feral colony residing on the underside of this RV and it was a reliable source of these swarms, but unfortunately it was removed about three years ago. I hadn't realized it was there, until I witnessed its removal.

"Benefits of swarming"; when colonies, other than my own swarm - I sometimes get free bees. Sometimes people pay me good money to come get swarms. Now that's a Win-Win I like. Especially since, often if they're AHB swarms I have to confine them or use a queen includer to keep them hived until they set up house, or they leave anyway. For me, there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to successfully hive a swarm that's the size of a bushel basket or better.
 

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Natural swarming is a way bees help deal with some diseases and pests. It's a part if their natural immune system and is what I would call a survival trait.
 

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Joseph, Now I'm really intrigued. How do you configure you hives now? I would love to know how to reduce swarming.
Like this: Honey Configuration



I did this mostly to reduce how many bees our desert toads were eating, but I continue to do it because it makes so many things work better and easier.
 
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