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I have 5 hives. 3 of those are my own swarms I've caught over the past 3 years. I don't want anymore. I don't want to catch and sell or split and sell. I am not interested in maximizing honey production.

I did a full inspection of all 5 hives yesterday. I found the queen, eggs, larvae, brood, drones, etc. I only found 1 early swarm cell in all 5 hives. What if I were to pinch the queen and let the hives produce a new queen? pros/cons?
 

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I have 5 hives. 3 of those are my own swarms I've caught over the past 3 years. I don't want anymore. I don't want to catch and sell or split and sell. I am not interested in maximizing honey production.
It sounds like you have bees just to have bees. :) If so, just let them do what they want which is reproduce by swarming. Just let the swarms go or call a bee club to see if someone wants them.

Since the old Queen is the one that leaves with the swarm I would make sure you have a laying Queen after swarm season is over as the new Queens sometimes don't make it back from mating flights.

Also, I would pinch all but two Queen cells prior to swarming or pinching the old Queen or your colonies could swarm themselves to death. I would make a split as insurance against the new Queen's failure to return. After a successful re-Queening of the colony you could kill the old Queen in the split and combine the bees with the original colony.

Alex
 

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Do you live in an urban area? If rural, maybe do as AHudd suggested and just let them swarm. If the neighbors are too close, I think that's asking for trouble with angry neighbors.

Pinching the current queens would work, but you might have to do it again in late summer. You would get some hives that don't re-queen so you'd have to deal with that as well.

Or you could put several swarm traps in your yard and give away any swarms you catch. People are always looking for bees.
 
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