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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Checking my hives yesterday I found swarm cells. The queen had just laid the eggs. A few weeks ago I had to move my hives about 200 feet and I left a nuc at the old location for the foragers that had lost their way. Well there are still quite a few foragers in that nuc but they've got laying workers now so I decided to do an experiment.

I took two frames of open and capped brood from the hive with swarm cells and put them in the nuc with the laying workers. I also shook several nurse bees in their with them. What are the chances that the mixed nuc will finish out the swarm cells and a laying queen will emerge and take over?
 

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Small Cell Nucs
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Who decides to swarm? is it the workers or the queen?
Because he might be forcing the swarm instinct onto the laying worker and her band of genetic dead ends to leave the hive?
 

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Are you going to let the original hive with swarm cells go ahead and swarm? You will lose a lot of production of honey when they swarm. They are planning to swarm and will build new swarm cups
:" Swarms will issue from a hive the day before or the day of capping of a queen cell (not all cells), just one and that, on average will occur on day seven or eight. Removing all of the queen cells at this point will only delay swarming for another week as the bees will quickly begin rearing more queen cells."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you going to let the original hive with swarm cells go ahead and swarm? You will lose a lot of production of honey when they swarm. They are planning to swarm and will build new swarm cups
:" Swarms will issue from a hive the day before or the day of capping of a queen cell (not all cells), just one and that, on average will occur on day seven or eight. Removing all of the queen cells at this point will only delay swarming for another week as the bees will quickly begin rearing more queen cells."
I took the frames that had swarm cells out of that colony and made sure to go through the rest and double check there were no more cells. I replaced the frames that had swarm cells with empty drawn comb so the queen would have plenty of room. I plan to check back in a couple of days to make sure that they are not building new cells and I'll add another box with drawn comb. Hopefully that will keep the queen busy enough and they will lose the urge.
 

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I took the frames that had swarm cells out of that colony and made sure to go through the rest and double check there were no more cells. I replaced the frames that had swarm cells with empty drawn comb so the queen would have plenty of room. I plan to check back in a couple of days to make sure that they are not building new cells and I'll add another box with drawn comb. Hopefully that will keep the queen busy enough and they will lose the urge.
Good, I started back on the March 1st and have been checking every 7-10 days. They are not building as many as they used to two weeks ago. But today i did find some. We are coming into the high nectar flow here in NE Georgia. The wild cherries and apple trees are blooming right now. So I expect the urge to swarm will die out as we get the main nectar flow in late April and May. At least that is what I am hoping for.
I tried to find the queens today but there are so many drones running around it is hard to find queens unless they are marked. New queens are being picked up April 24-so i have to find the old queens and mark them so i can get rid of them 2 days before I pick up the new queens.
 

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Langstroth hives. As many as I can.
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If the nuc was never left for the “lost” foragers, would many of them eventually made their way back to their hive since it was 200’? Better to leave a nuc or not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well the experiment failed. I checked last night and they did not finish the cells. I'm guessing they had been queenless for too long.
 
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