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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a lot of discussions about how to prevent a colony from swarming. What ways are there to make a colony swarm for sure? I am asking in follow up to an ABJ article that read that if one kills or removes just the queen from a swarm-ready colony it will swarm for sure - 100%. It must be that the first emerging virgin queen or queens quickly take on the role of the old queen, not destroy the other swarm cells, and leave with the previously planned swarm.

Are there other sure fire "mistakes" one can make to make a colony swarm in short order?
 

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Interesting but for other than extermination why would you want to make them swarm? I spend a lot of effort to try and prevent swarming. :confused:
 

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>There are a lot of discussions about how to prevent a colony from swarming. What ways are there to make a colony swarm for sure? I am asking in follow up to an ABJ article that read that if one kills or removes just the queen from a swarm-ready colony it will swarm for sure - 100%.

Reduce the space. Feed like crazy. They will swarm. I have never removed the queen from a swarm ready colony without also removing most of the swarm cells and half of the brood and bees. So I don't know if that would work. But why would you want to?

>It must be that the first emerging virgin queen or queens quickly take on the role of the old queen, not destroy the other swarm cells, and leave with the previously planned swarm.

You just skip the primary and move to the afterswarms. The workers protect the other swarm cells from the first emerging queen. This is what they always do for a while until they decide if they want to do afterswarms or not. This is normal behavior, not a new behavior caused by removing the old queen.

>Are there other sure fire "mistakes" one can make to make a colony swarm in short order?

If they are already about to swarm, I've found nothing to be quite effective. ;)
 

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To get the most swarms out of one hive, I would join two strong hives together in early spring, so you have 4 deeps. Do everything you can to ensure a very low mite population, and excellent health in the hive. Make sure you have a stong, excellent queen. In early spring Feed them heavily on the highest quallity feed (with terramyacin to prevent the possibility of foulbrood) and dont stop. Dont requeen in the fall, so your queen is not to young. Dont give them any supers or space to expand. When they are looking huge, give them several extra frames of emerging brood with as many attached queen cells as possible. Remove their frames of nectar, and give them capped honey frames. I would expect some big swarms from this type of hive. Good swarming to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know my question sounded a bit crazy but sometimes you get a new revelation when you look at the backside of the moon -- aka swarm. What apparently is becoming clear though, that swarming is fairly independent of the status of the residing or emerging queen. It's not like the queen is cracking a whip and encouraging her court to work like crazy so they can leave. Apparently, it is more the environmental factors that boost 100% swarm success - good food stores, good health, strong numbers, small space and older but not failing queen.

I am going to leave the discussion about genetically predisposed swarming tendencies i.e africanized versus european genetics out of the mix because it muddles up things but these genetics may also be rooted in environmental factors.

Just removing a small number of frames with the queen and most of the swarm cells apparently may not extinguish the swarm fever of a strong colony. Does it delay the swarm date though? A swarm wouldn't emerge without a queen, wouldn't it. As soon as the first virgin queen emerges the "after swarm" can take off. If the primary swarm would have left with the old queen, the swarm date may have been eight days earlier when the first swarm cell was capped, right?

Buying yourself some time by encouraging swarming in the short term but delaying the swarm date, may be part of good overall management.
 

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I would find inducing swarming an interesting hobby if I was around to catch them. Inciting them to land in accessable places would be part of that hobby with either lemograss oil (Nasonove), bee boost (QMP), or the commercial swarm lures put on low branches around the apiary.

But I have a regular job.
 

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Another thing you could try would be to remove the queen from a very strong, cramped hive, and reintroduce her the next day. The bees will make emergency queencells which will become swarm cells when they reallize they allready have an excellent queen. Within 10 days of reintroducing the queen, they will probably swarm.
 

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[highest quallity feed (with terramyacin to prevent the possibility of foulbrood)]

Irresponsible use of terramyacin is the reason the TM50 resistant foulbrood exists.

Broad spectrum use of terramyacin without a determining the disease exists is both unneccessary and irresponsible.

It is not advised to handle medications unless you understand their proper use.
 

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>TM50 resistant foulbrood . . .

TM-50 is formulated on rice hulls for livestock. Bees cannot eat or use the cellulose in rice hulls and, therefore, most of the antibiotic never gets in the colony. Perhaps the reason for resistance IS "irresponsible use".

Terramycin is available in several formulations each carries specific instructions. Make sure formulation in-hand is registered for use on honey bees and follow label instructions.
 

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Thanks for the clarification on the terramyacin use, NW and Dave W! I thought I read somewhere that it was common practice to treat hives in the spring with terramyacin before disease developed. I will read up on it immediately. Hope I didnt mislead anyone. Paul.
 

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On page 714 of the 1993 edition of The Hive and the Honey Bee it tells of the Killion System of comb honey production. In this system he takes two or three deeps and put them all in one to force a swarm and then takes swarm control measures to keep them from swarming,then adds a new Queen after several days.This method is used for better comb honey production.
 
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