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Is it possible to stop afterswarms?

1429 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  NewbeeInNH
Since my hive swarmed last week, I'm nervous that once those left hatch a new queen (which hopefully they will), they'll take her and swarm too. Any way to prevent this?
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Make sure the new queen has plenty of open space to lay in. And keep your fingers crossed. One of those should help.

To prevent after swarms a person needs to open the hive after the initial swarm and remove all but one or two of the queen cells, usually they will make plenty of them so you can choose a few nice big ones to leave in the hive. As Wayne has already stated it is best to provide the soon to be queen with the needed room to lay eggs by adding empty drawn comb to the brood nest, if you have no extra comb then it might be best to extract a few of the frames. :)
Thank you! I've been nervous to go too far into that hive (actually there are 2 because I split it 50/50 2 days before it swarmed) because I'm afraid of tearing open the queen cell that might be stuck between 2 supers/frames.

Is it worth the risk?
Just pull out a side frame or two then you can easily spread the rest of the frames apart to inspect with little risk of cell damage. If you want to prevent after swarms an inspection must be done.
(actually there are 2 because I split it 50/50 2 days before it swarmed)
I hate to say it but if it swarmed two days before you split then there weren't any eggs to make a queen for the split. So now it might be wise to have at least one queen cell in each half of the split. That means you have to go in both of them.
Yup, okay. Thanks.

(I think there were eggs or maybe even queen cells in each split half tho because there were 2 brood boxes [mediums] and one went on each pile.)
It is possible that there were queen cells in each half but not likely there were eggs if the hive swarmed in two days. I know swarm cells usually are concentrated on the bottom of the frames but I don't know if they do that on multiple boxes or not. Maybe someone more experienced can chime in.
I may end up recombining that split anyway.
I don't do recombines because I can't find queens. That is why I wait 60 days before doing anything else.
Well, eureka. I went into both halves of the split and found an estimated kajillion capped queen cells between both hives. So I pulled some frames of honey, pollen, capped brood, and queen cells to make two more one-medium-super splits. If I had more equipment I would've just kept going, but that's all the bottoms and covers I had. So now from that one original overwintered Russian hive, I have 3 splits from it, one being a 50/50 split, and 2 are several frames plus capped queen cells from their bigger sister hives.

So we'll see what happens. I went thru the brood chambers and pulled out the frames of pure honey/nectar and put them elsewhere in the hive, but left the capped brood down there, so hopefully when a queen hatches the hives will not be honey bound and will not afterswarm. If they do, well I have those 2 new splits now, maybe they'll work.

It sure doesn't seem like my bee population is on the decrease, but I'm sure that must've been my swarm in my pine tree, there aren't any neighbors too close by and I'm pretty sure no one in my immediate area has bees. Plus I have capped queen cells, so that's probably a sure sign that they already swarmed. They sure did leave a lot of provisions, tho, which is great.

No honey this year. Again.

One other thing, it did look like one of the queen cells had hatched, it was opened on the bottom. Not the kind of opening like before they cap it, but kind of an emerged kind of opening. Don't know what that means.

And there was larvae in both hives, I assume that was there from when they swarmed on Monday. Today is Sunday.
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