Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
899 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK -- I've learned the hard way this year (my 1st in which I had any # of hives that overwintered): I should keep on top of swarm cell development early-on. My "pet hive", from a nuc I formed last year and with a nice new queen, swarmed yest. The queen was terrific and I made a hive of 2 deeps and a medium so far this year. Figured they had plenty of room, in time, and I planned to check them yesterday (!!) to see the hive's status. The troops took off before I could get to 'em.

SO .... is it too early to go in today and check for more swarm cells (to destroy)? Another hive swarmed a few weeks ago -- at least 2X and maybe 3! -- and when I checked, yep: a bunch of swarm cells under 1 frame. I'm thinking I could've prevented casts had I gone in right away and zapped the swarm cells remaining after the 1st swarming event. At the time, I didn't have a j-hook hive tool for prying up the glued-solid frames and wasn't bright enough to think to raise the hive bodies to check underneath the frames. *Sigh*.

Seems like I read somewhere (here?) that I should let a few days pass before going into a hive that's swarmed. Maybe the idea was that any disturbance could prompt the remainers to take off? :s

Any input would be appreciated. I hope you guys're having better outcomes with your hives (re: swarming) than I am this year .....

Mitch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
You could go in today but there is no point. You have about 2 weeks to get into it and reduce the number of cells. I wait for 3 days to make sure all of the swarm cells are formed. Then I select the best 2 or 3 cells on a single frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,541 Posts
Why destroy, when you can roll with what they have decided and propagate:scratch:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
Why destroy, when you can roll with what they have decided and propagate:scratch:
If the OP wants to expand their hive count, then by all means, use the swarm cells in the split. However, if no increase is needed, leaving only 2 -3 cells (preferably on the same frame) will prevent virgin swarms from the hive. The emerging queen will be less likely to miss stinging the extra cells if they are all on the same frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,931 Posts
Usually the first afterswarm occurs 8 days after the prime swarm leaves. If the prime swarm has been prevented from leaving by bad weather conditions the afterswarms can occur at any time weather permits.

If you begin cutting cells the day the prime swarm leaves there are eggs/larvae in the colony for the bees to make queens for the next 6 days.

If you check the colony when the prime swarm leaves, and you find only capped and open queen cells, no emerged cells, then you know there is no virgin remaining in the colony. If you then cut out the capped cells, and the older open queen cells, there is no chance of a swarm for 8 to 10 days. Because you leave the younger open queen cells the bees usually will not start more queen cells, but will heavily feed the remaining cells.

In a week go in and remove all cells and requeen with a mated queen, or if you wish to use the bees swarm cells, remove all but the best looking cell and allow that cell to emerge and mate. There is a chance of the virgin failing to mate and return.

If you leave more than one cell there will be a good chance of an afterswarm with the first virgin to emerge, so take your pick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,186 Posts
I always carefully search out and destroy all cells leaving the best two on one side of the same frame if possible. But it is hard to find all of them. cells are just starting to be big enough to see when the first cells started are about to emerge. When I catch a hive that is full of cels and not yet swarmed, out of frustration I have been known to split them four ways to cut my losses.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top