Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello - I would like to use a Snellgrove board to prevent swarming but I would like to re-combine after swarm season. when will this be done, The queen cycle is 15 or 16 days until hatching but I don’t know if this is enough time to prevent a swarm and the other option seems to be let the queens fight it out.

please give me your thoughts

anthony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,067 Posts
Hello - I would like to use a Snellgrove board to prevent swarming but I would like to re-combine after swarm season. when will this be done, The queen cycle is 15 or 16 days until hatching but I don’t know if this is enough time to prevent a swarm and the other option seems to be let the queens fight it out.

please give me your thoughts

anthony
I have combined many times just by pulling the division board and let the bees make the decision. Odds are often claimed to be 80% or more that the younger queen reigns. You can do more or less to influence the swarming possibilitys by how much you weaken the lower colony, such as giving them 5 or more undrawn combs etc. You could also possibly start another nuc or mate several queens from the top box. In your climate you may have to keep an eye out for the possibility that the top box gets ready to swarm if you do not pull some resources from it. The Snelgrove board has endless possibilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Crofter - I would have thought having undrawn comb in the bottom would be a problem with the older bees in the bottom box. This is good to know.

Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,067 Posts
Thank you Crofter - I would have thought having undrawn comb in the bottom would be a problem with the older bees in the bottom box. This is good to know.

Thanks again.
It is a fairly involved situation. What you are creating for the lower box is a post swarm simulation. Very little brood to take care of and mostly foragers but there should be two honey supers above an excluder and they put a lot of their efforts into filling the supers. Within a few days newly orienting bees from above the division board will be diverted to the bottom colony. That is wax making age.

I found I still got a decent honey yield with the benefit of an extra nuc or so created. Weigh that against the loss of a swarm and likely no honey yield at all seems like a good deal. I will do the Snelgrove division on my double deeps this year but some will be split and run as single deeps. The single deeps do need regular checks to squish queen cells but those colonies are easier to inspect than the ones with a Snelgrove board and a second colony perched above the honey supers. Just different games you can play with your bees!

In my climate I only give the lower box a few un drawn frames and leave some frames with ready to emerge brood. Setting up the bottom box requires some thinking. I am probably 1,500 or miles north of you so my experience is little use in that regard. Only once did I have a bottom box get ready to swarm again and that was probably due to being a bit early with the operation and giving them no undrawn combs to slow down brood nest development.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,067 Posts
Double screened boards are very easy to make.
That depends a bit on what you have in mind. A full function Snelgrove Board will have three and possibly 4 pairs of doors besides its double screen. Here is one I made though I have not used the front pair or the lower rear one. More than you need to merely do a split
61720
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,038 Posts
Multiple entrances make it more versatile but my single entrance ones work fine. This is how I set my bait hives now:
Plywood, division screen, dead brood chamber baited.
No extra baithive specific equipment required. I have had the division screens for 40 years, got some free, plywood can be scrounged.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,067 Posts
Below is a link to info on what possibilities lie in a Snelgrove board that just are not there with a single opening double screen division board. I think what the original poster is envisioning to prevent swarming , maintain honey production and produce a new queen and be recombined with no hive count increase, requires a bit more sophistication.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,430 Posts
You should be OK just re-combining them, but if you want to play safe you can find the queen in the bottom box (the old one) and remove her. No need for paper between them or anything, just pull the Snelgrove board.

I've used them for a couple years now with variable success. Had a few fail to make a queen in the top box, and have waited to late to remove the top colony for it to build up well as feeders on top of that huge stack isn't doable for me.

You will not weaken the bottom colony much if you open and close the doors on schedule (five days) while the top box is making a queen. Typically there will be several queen cells up there, so you can harvest some to replace less than stellar queens if you wish as well.

Note that under no circumstances should you EVER use a front entrance on the Snelgrove while there is any possibility of a queen going on a mating flight from the top box, if she goes into the bottom instead she will be promptly killed. Once she's laying it's less of an issue I think, but don't use a front entrance! That's why there are typically three, with the rear one used for queen mating.

Just to prevent swarms you and be pretty lakadasical about the doors and it will work fine, although not always. Bees do what the will not matter what beekeepers try to get them to do. Snelgrove boards do work very well if you find a lot of cells in a hive, just put them all above the board and make sure the old queen is in the bottom with only capped brood. The bees in the top box will tear down a lot of the cells (or you can use them for other hives) and it's unlikely the bottom will swarm with no nurse bees. Gotta move quick though.....
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top