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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my 2nd year as a beek and I have two hives. I've got a bit of problem this spring and would very much appreciate any sage advice on the matter.
I have a hive that has had it population explode this spring with the nectar flow we've had. They are currently in two deeps that are fully drawn out. I failed to give them adequate space ahead of time and when I did my checkup 4-5 days ago I found 6-7 swarm cells. I destroyed them and ordered components (don't have any extra equipment on hand) for another hive to preform an artificial swarm/split. I rushed the order but it likely won't be here till late next week. I believe the reason they are wanting to swarm is being overcrowded but I could be misinterpreting. Both deeps are nearly fully drawn out although the queen has plenty of comb she could fill out with brood but she isn't.

My question is there anything I can do to help prevent them from swarming int he mean time? Am I making the right move by splitting them or are there really any other options to successfully prevent them from swarming?
Any and all advice will be very much appreciated!
 

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Once they get it in their tiny little heads that they want to swarm there isn't much you can do to stop them. By destroying all the swarm cells you can put yourself in a situation where they swarm with the old queen and you are left queenless. You to catch it long before there are swarm cells. The best thing you can do (and I understand you didn't have the equipment) is to take the old queen and a bunch of bees and do a split. You can always recombine later if you want. To keep them from getting to this point you need to give them the space. If they exploded on you like this you needed to have another box, deep, medium, shallow, I don't care on there for them to expand into. They need somewhere to put the nectar and if the only place is in the brood nest they are going to swarm on you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I put a queen excluder on the bottom of the brood chambers (in-between the bottom board and deep) would that prevent them from swarming for the time being? Since the existing queen can't leave they will wait for a virgin queen correct?
Would that "buy me time" enough to get the extra equipment and the do the split with virgin queens just about ready to hatch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a makeshift hive for emergencies but the only frames I have are plastic with no wax coating (so the bees won't draw the comb on them properly) so I had ordered more and as it turns out the ones I purchased are back ordered so I had to have them ship all plastic ones!
I just was out in the beeyard and did as one fellow had suggested and switched the lower deep with the upper. The lower isn't as congested and supposedly it helps to delay a swarm if you swap positions. Your thoughts?
They are drawing out more queen cells (none with larvae yet that I could find). I am fairly confident that I had gotten all the swarm cells removed from this past Sunday when I checked up on them so lets say I get my extra equipment by this coming Fri that would be about the the time one or more of these new cells is capped.
I took a peek in my other hive and they had drawn a bunch of comb in the medium that I added and packed it with honey. I assume the moved honey from downstairs to make more room as they are a bit pollen bound in the brood chamber (have more deeps and frames coming to add to that hive as well).
I guess I really underestimated what a heavy pollen/honey flow can do to a hive in the spring as their #'s have tripled in a matter of weeks...
 
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