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Discussion Starter #1
Checked my best hive. Found some swarm cells. Counted 7 total on two different frames. Didn’t check all the frames though. Only saw larva and RJ in two of them. Question is if I just pull the swarm cell frames out will that curb them from swarming? Say it’s 2-3 frames. These frames are solid with brood or do I have to take additional brood frames out too? I want to keep as many resources in this hive as possible. Since they are really good producers. I can grab a frame or two from the other hives to complete the split with. Leaving all the hives with the most possible resources.
 

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I think you're better off pulling the old queen and a few frames out into a nuc. It more closely resembles what they're trying to accomplish by swarming.

Plus, you get a bit of a brood break for mite control while those queens are emerging and mating.
 

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Once they've built cells it's about 99.99% sure they'll swarm. Do as Iwombat says and temporarily move the queen and some brood into a nuc. Make split(s) with the queen cell frames even if you can only use one new hive. You can recombine with the old hive after making sure there are no more cells.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think you're better off pulling the old queen and a few frames out into a nuc. It more closely resembles what they're trying to accomplish by swarming.
Good idea. I should be able to plan it to where I don't loose much egg laying time either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Once they've built cells it's about 99.99% sure they'll swarm.
If I pull the swarm cells they can't. At that time...Or will they just start building more. Figured once I pulled those and replaced with foundation(less) that might curb it. I don't mind loosing a few frames or even more on a hard split compaired to a swarm. These are good honey producers and would love to keep a lot of bees in there.
 

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If I wanted to keep their genetics, I would pull the queen with the unsealed brood and the covering bees and make a nuc. Don't leave her with a large bee population, just enough to tend the unsealed brood.

Then destroy all the queen cells, leaving the foragers and the sealed brood at the original location. Check back in about 5 days and destroy any additional swarm cells. This should prevent the swarm; and without a queen and bees with no brood to take care of, the bees will make a lot more honey. Then in a couple of weeks drop a frame of eggs/young larva and let them make another queen. She won't be mated and laying for another 30 days so that should give you about 6 weeks worth of nectar production. The sealed brood hatching now [and in the next couple of weeks], will be available to start raising brood in 6 weeks; but by then most of your honey crop should be in.

Kindest Regards
Danny
 

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Hambone:
The cells you see may not be swarm cells. Go slowly. In swarming season last year, some clues as to the distinction between swarm and supersedure cells were offered. Time to do it again. If you take action (swarm control) against SS cells, you run the risk of winding up queenless on a good potential producer.

Clues identified before:
...SS cells are normally less in number than swarm cells. SS cells can range from 1 to about 10. My rule of thumb is 6 or less on any level as the brood nest expands upward, but have occasionally seen more.
...Swarm cells normally exceed 20, but sometimes are less in hard times.
...SS cells are normally roughly about the same stage of devopment, while swarm cells will often range from egg to capped. Expanding on that just a bit, the colony in SS is in a hurry. Having decided that the Q needs replacing, they move out smartly and populate cells in a short period. The swarming colony will stretch out population of cells to provide backup cells in the event of primary Q loss.

Adding a few more notes: (See article in POV on the subject)
SS cells are generally built on bases built in advance of the need. And provided for just that purpose. Those advance bases for cups are not normally provided within the existing Q travel areas. A favorite place is on the bottom of the feed pollen frame. (within the warmed cluster area but outside the queen's traveled area)

Although it may not be universal, normally SS cells are built on the left side from the back of hives that face south. (warmed by morning sun)

Back to your description of circumstance:
From reports of mass swarming south of you and your swarm input on another thread, I conclude that your repro season is upon you. But you're right on the line between swarm and SS. The repro swarm season over laps repro c/o by a week up front and trails by two weeks (Q development time)

Tilt the box with Q cells and get an accurate assessment. If the frames with cells are filled with brood, think swarm. If the frames with cells are mostly pollen, think SS.

Walt
 

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Important background: I have little experience with swarming until this year. In the past when I kept bees I had the midnights [caucasians], requeened every late summer/early fall, and I don't ever remember losing any swarms. I would generally use SOP [standard operating procedure] for late winter by reversing my deep brood boxes. When I get more time I will be posting more about minor failures in my bee experiment [hint: swarming].

Several weeks ago I had 3 queen cells in the middle of a deep frame [typical frame with solid brood and a rim of pollen and honey]. I did a diligent search and found no more cells [colony facing east]. Is there some advantage as to directions the colonies should be facing Walt? I figured supercedure; although the queen was laying good pattern. Couple of weeks later I caught a swarm from that colony with a virgin queen [Only about 1 1/2# of bees]. I lost the primary swarm. The original colony was now low on bees but did have a virgin also. I have so far salvaged the swarm but of course they won't make anything this year. Also had another colony swarm in which I missed the swarm. Both of these colonies were on all mediums, I had made splits early March from them, and I had checkerboarded at that time. Checkerboarding didn't work for me. Also, had another colony swarm [deep and medium brood box] that was not checkerboarded but I caught the primary swarm [almost twice the size of the recent one Derek had a picture of, I estimate 6-7# of bees. This colony [Michael Bush's queen] had about 10 more swarm cells [all sealed] on the bottom frames, bee population very low. I had also used this colony to make splits with early March and had reversed the medium and deep brood boxes, but that didn't work either. I miss my midnights:cry:. First time I ever questioned my management skills :cool:. And I sure won't be so judgmental of those having swarming problems in the future. Out of time, I have a bull to have hauled to the meat processor.

Kindest Regards
Danny
 

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Danny;
I just started facing colonies south because our coldest winds in winter come out of the northwest. Didn't think they needed that blast directly on the entry.

In comm with a beek in Ontario (across the creek from Buffalo) he strongly favored east facing. His rationale was that broadside warming was an advantage in his low sun angle in winter.

I personally think that with all the things we have to worry about now, hive orientation is a drop in the bucket.

Sorry to hear that swarming is complicating your experiment. I have no feel for how the manipulations might affect CB. But would be interested in the details.

Walt
 

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I love to take my two frame nucs and for every frame with a queen cell, I give them a frame of honey and put them in the two frame nuc. With all adhering bees. Sometimes I give them another shake of bees. I prefer capped queen cells so they have already been well fed. A lot of nice queens come from those...
 
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