Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
3rd year bee keeper and I lack experience.

So it's almost September and one of my hives is prepping to swarm. I tried to prevent getting to this point. A good month ago queeny seemed honey bound so I put 2 empty bars in, spaced out near the middle and end of the broodnest, but they just didn't want to draw comb on them quickly. I tried to stimulate comb production by feeding, no luck. In the end I didn't wind up increasing the brood space.

Now I've got tons of capped brood, tons of capped drone brood, and queen cups are starting to form (all empty). The Goldrenrod flow is on here and both my hives easily have 100+ nectar or pollen laden bees landing per minute.

It seems awfully late in the season for a swarm, but all signs are pointing that direction. From everything I've read it's probably too late stop a swarm. I could attempt a split (which I've only read about never done). Assuming I'm not crazy and you all will tell me to do a split to prevent the swarm, when should I do the split?
  1. Split right now (No drones flying yet, queen cups barely exist, all empty)
  2. Split when drones start flying
  3. Split when queen cups are have jelly/eggs

I'd guess #1 figuring the hive without a queen will just raise one from eggs, accept this hive is going to need everything from this honey flow and I'll probably have to feed them to build up stores for the winter. I'd really like to hear from someone with experience though because I'd rather not choose poorly and loose the what has been a good strong hive.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,247 Posts
> No drones flying yet

I don't quite understand this comment. Do you mean there are no DCA (drone congregation areas) within flying distance of your hives? How have you determined that?

If you mean that the hive in question doesn't currently have any drones, that probably isn't a big issue as long as there are drones at a nearby DCA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No drones in either of my hives. I know of a couple feral hives around and there is another bee yard with 5 hives under 4 miles away. So I'd guess there is a at least one DCA around for a virgin queen to get mated.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,247 Posts
Since you are only splitting to avoid having them swarm, I'd wait to split until it is more clear that they are actually going to swarm. That means your option #3, or perhaps a little later when one of the queen cells gets capped.

More on swarm control:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm

Keep in mind that if you are unhappy with how the splits prepare for winter, it may be appropriate to combine them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
I am with raider, I would not split until I am absolutely sure that swarming is the bees intention.
Some bees just build queen cells for the sake of doing so they tear them down later without ever having used them only to build more. If you split and these are just practice cells them you will force an emergency requeen situation. Watch and see make a determination based on what transpires. rather than what might.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top