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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mid summer swarms this week. Despite my manipulations, the hives desperately went out the door.

I'm assuming this was because of congestion? The honey supers came off and the colonies were packed with bees.

Any suggestions on what to do to prevent this in the future?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
How should I interpret a hive that is low in weight but still swarmed?

I see the queen cells some of the colonies are quite light.

I don't get it.

I found swarm cells last week as well.

Can't say I know how to interpret a light colony packed with bees swarming in the middle of the summer.

My only guess is "congestion".
 

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You can try splitting out your queens into a nuc and overwinter the nuc. Then next spring you can use it to replace your winter losses or sell.
 

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Same problem here.
No congestion to speak of (technically, the queen fills up the brood nest and they decide to leave, instead of packing honey into empty super).
My theory - non-localized genetics are gone crazy.
They really have no idea what is going on as far as the local summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Same problem here.
No congestion to speak of (technically, the queen fills up the brood nest and they decide to leave, instead of packing honey into empty super).
My theory - non-localized genetics are gone crazy.
They really have no idea what is going on as far as the local summer.
I really don't get it.

It's like they were doing a spring swarm, with the anticipation of a bunch of future nectar.

Except it's the middle of the summer.
 

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I think that is the excuse used most often to explain PPBK online.
not so much non-localized genetics, but rather selection pressure toward fecundity regardless of field conditions, a trait that serves our commercially oriented friends well.

the extreme expression of this trait is a colony that has no stopping sense and will brood themselves out of house and home, i.e. may succumb to starvation if the spring honey is harvested and not replaced with feed.

such colonies are also very good at producing mites, and are not likely to do well off treatments.
 

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I always leave another super on. Often there are supers not totally capped and if I take all honey fille supers off I leave another one to be removed at a later date. It s a lot more work and then I remove all of them, feed, and treat. Not certain if this was the subject you were addressing but this is how I attempt to stop late swarming.
Mid summer swarms this week. Despite my manipulations, the hives desperately went out the door.

I'm assuming this was because of congestion? The honey supers came off and the colonies were packed with bees.

Any suggestions on what to do to prevent this in the future?
 

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I watch Mr Ts Bees on youtube. He runs single deep brood nests. Anyway he shows that during the season he pulls frames of broods to control swarming. But he also checks every brood nest every week for queen cells and removes them as he finds them. I'm not sure where he's located but I'm pretty sure it the northeast. His last post was on 7/22/2020 and he said he hopes he doesn't have to make any more splits this summer. He does have some supers left on but I think he's pulled most of his honey boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Will the genetic pre-disposition to being "swarmy" eventually leave an apiary, from your experiences here?
 

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but rather selection pressure toward fecundity regardless of field conditions, a trait that serves our commercially oriented friends well..
Think you are correct.
Not necessarily the mis-reading the location, but non-stop propagation - a great trait for bee selling/pollination operators.

I am up to 11 swarms this season; good variety to look at.
Some I like. Even a smallish nuc in the backyard is packing really well.
Others are to be re-queened; unsure what these bees are thinking.

Here, a "Russian" like swarm is working the flow (gray hive).
Then some other bees (blue and white) - they are just bearding instead of working.
Both are sitting in the exact same shade, 5 steps from each other.
Hate to think of these bearding bees could be a pre-swarm like some others of the same ilk.
I got no time to dig through them at the moment.
20200725_171102.jpg 20200725_171035.jpg
 

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thanks greg, nice photos.

you are also correct about a local strain becoming adapted to the local flows and dearths. i'll see modulation of brood rearing up and down usually a few weeks in advance of the flora is doing.

randy oliver talks about the desirable 'trait' of brood modulation in a couple of his articles about breeding mite resistant bees.
 

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A few questions; Do these hives have a honey dome? Today the temperatures hit 91 and the hives had a lot of bearding. Even though I have them on screen bottoms and some spacers under the lid.

So bee space might be reduced because the hive is packed with bees. This reduces air flow and they have trouble regulating brood temperature. Couldn't this trigger a swarm response? It's sort of the same condition as a honey/nectar bound brood nest. Dearth conditions mean worker bees hanging around in the hive, perhaps interfering with the nurse bees attending the brood nest. Maybe an empty box on top would help?

So I wonder if checker boarding in some foundation frames might give them some relief, by helping air flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Trin

I didn't manipulate them once the supers were removed. Not particularly heavy hives, seems like they didn't care about the honey removal and swarmed without much incoming honey.

They were all given the same amount of ventilation, I don't know why those particular colonies decided to leave.

Will the daughter queen be less swarmy, do you think?
 

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The honey supers came off and the colonies were packed with bees.
Regardless of the swarmy/non-swarmy bees...
Anyway, why do this (take the supers off and create congestion artificially and trigger maybe avoidable swarming)?

If anything, I'd keep a 1-2 empty supers ON the hive so the bees have space to even just sit in them.
Ideally, those will be supers with empty combs to hopefully bring more nectar.
The worst case scenario - completely empty supers (just boxes) separated with QX and a soft cover from the rest (make a couple of corners passable to the bees - so the bees sense they have space and are NOT congested and can use the empty boxes as they wish.
They might even build some free combs into those empty supers which is not really a bad deal in any sense (I'd take empty combs any day in any quantity).
 

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I got no time to dig through them at the moment.
It takes but a few minutes to pop off a couple boxes and look into the brood nest to see what, if anything, is wrong down there. But I do understand that after taking the time for photos, then posting into every second thread online, ofc there is no time left to tend the bees...
 

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It takes but a few minutes to pop off a couple boxes and look into the brood nest to see what, if anything, is wrong down there. But I do understand that after taking the time for photos, then posting into every second thread online, ofc there is no time left to tend the bees...
Of course you don't know the location is a remote yard, and that the hive is not even a regular Lang to flip the boxes around (despite of the appearance).
What else don't you know?
 

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It takes but a few minutes to pop off a couple boxes and look into the brood nest to see what, if anything, is wrong down there. But I do understand that after taking the time for photos, then posting into every second thread online, ofc there is no time left to tend the bees...
:lpf:
 
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