I have several hives which may be ready to swarm. Can I take frames of brood from several different hives, to relieve crowding, and combine them in one new wlk-away split? (I'll probably recombine in the fall.)
>I have several hives which may be ready to swarm.
On what eveidence? Swarm cells? Capped swarm cells? If you just want to take preventative measure so the brood nest isn't so congested then go ahead.
>Can I take frames of brood from several different hives, to relieve crowding, and combine them in one new wlk-away split?
If they are not building swarm cells this will work to relieve congestion and it works fine. Just be sure to put a frame from each of at least three hives into the split so the confusion factor will prevent fighting. More different hives is better than fewer. Also shake a frame or two from each hive (be sure to leave the queen behind)
If they ARE building swarm cells you'll have to be more drastic than removing a frame or two from the brood nest. I would remove the queen and half the brood to another hive. Worst case the old hive still swarms, but takes less bees. Best case they change their mind. You can also destroy all but one swarm cell. This may help, but then sometimes you leave the one cell that doesn't emerge. But then you could recombine if that happens.
>(I'll probably recombine in the fall.)
I would wait and see. Sometimes the split takes off and sometimes it doesn't this time of year. If it doesn't, then recombine, if it does take off, then you got another hive.
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!