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Thia is very similar to reversing boxes which is done in spring, to try and fool the bees. This requires the extra step of putting the supers back on top after a couple days.
I guess it's worth a try!
 

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If my Queens haven't moved down by the time the Redbuds bloom, I reverse, but well before the drawn out supers go on.

Alex
 

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Logically I think it may actually make sense.

When you move all of the brood chamber to the top of hive and place a screen (not a queen excluder) between the brood chamber and the supers below it separates the hive in 2. All of the workers are conditioned to entering the hive in the bottom so they leave the brood chamber to go forge and return to the bottom of the hive. The workers can not get into the brood chamber due to the screen but they can still "smell" the queen since pheromones will pass thru the screen and bees walking on the screen. There is now more space in the brood chamber since all of the workers are not "stuck" in the supers and can not get into the brood chamber. Some of the nurse bees will have to take over as workers for the brood chamber, but they will orient to the new entrance above the screen to keep the brood chamber functioning correctly. The confusion and the opening of space in the brood chamber reduces (eliminates?) the hives desire to swarm.

The big difference between this method and reversing the boxes is a screen that the bees can not go thru is placed between the supers and the brood chamber. I have not tried this, but what I am describing above is how I understand the article.

I have no idea how often you would have to do it. From the article it sounds like this is done when the hive starts making queen cells (not just cups), which means you would have to check the hive(s) on a regular basis.
 

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Elmer, in principle what you are describing sounds like using a snelgrove board, though the separation between honey supers and brood is stronger. Whereas I believe when using a snelgrove you could have a couple of different arrangements--for example, there'd be brood in both top and bottom. And I think you could super both top and bottom units.

I wonder if there is an advantage to one method rather than the other?
 

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I believe it would work if you have a short Swarm Season. It will likely delay swarm prep by at least a week or so.

What it is doing is stopping Backfilling of the Broodnest with nectar.

This is because the foragers will go into the usual entrance, but now into the Super which has been placed under the Screen, so there is no incoming nectar or pollen into the Brood Box.

The queen is no longer competing with foragers for empty cells, so she can continue laying in cells where brood have emerged.
Nectar and pollen is eaten which also empties some more cells for her to lay in.
So she gets a couple of days of laying unimpeded.

There is now a decent amount of open brood for the next week, until it is capped.

Note: Swarming occurs when the queen runs low on space to lay eggs, so her ovaries shrink because she is laying less and less. When there are very few empty cells left, she is more likely to lay eggs in queen cups. It also means there are fewer brood to feed and with many Nurse bees, some brood will be fed much more Royal Jelly and so are made into queens.

As soon as the Boxes are placed back in their normal positions I would think that Backfilling would continue. If Swarm Season is longer than a couple of weeks after that then the hive would again get to a point where Swarm Prep would start again.

So I doubt it would stop Swarm Prep where I live because as our Swarm Season is often over 2 months.

I instead use Opening the Sides of the Broodnest to also create more space for the queen to lay, by getting the bees to build new comb on the outer edges of the Broodnest. This also helps to stop backfilling of the Broodnest, by getting the bees to draw out new comb to store incoming nectar in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I believe it would work if you have a short Swarm Season. It will likely delay swarm prep by at least a week or so.

What it is doing is stopping Backfilling of the Broodnest with nectar.

This is because the foragers will go into the usual entrance, but now into the Super which has been placed under the Screen, so there is no incoming nectar or pollen into the Brood Box.

The queen is no longer competing with foragers for empty cells, so she can continue laying in cells where brood have emerged.
Nectar and pollen is eaten which also empties some more cells for her to lay in.
So she gets a couple of days of laying unimpeded.

There is now a decent amount of open brood for the next week, until it is capped.

Note: Swarming occurs when the queen runs low on space to lay eggs, so her ovaries shrink because she is laying less and less. When there are very few empty cells left, she is more likely to lay eggs in queen cups. It also means there are fewer brood to feed and with many Nurse bees, some brood will be fed much more Royal Jelly and so are made into queens.

As soon as the Boxes are placed back in their normal positions I would think that Backfilling would continue. If Swarm Season is longer than a couple of weeks after that then the hive would again get to a point where Swarm Prep would start again.

So I doubt it would stop Swarm Prep where I live because as our Swarm Season is often over 2 months.

I instead use Opening the Sides of the Broodnest to also create more space for the queen to lay, by getting the bees to build new comb on the outer edges of the Broodnest. This also helps to stop backfilling of the Broodnest, by getting the bees to draw out new comb to store incoming nectar in.
Thanks everyone for your comments

Matthew

Reading your posts (and reading some research ) it appears that many people believe that an excess of nurse bees with nothing to do is a prime swarm trigger. Just wondering if as the article says by swapping boxes enough nurse bees are forced to become foragers they no longer have a quorum to swarm. Of course that still doesn't stop the build up happening again but perhaps could be used as an emergency measure to stop swarming and then get more empty cells in front of the queen.

Mark
 

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Excess of nurse bees in the brood box does impact on swarming due to congestion. The amount of Queen pheromone nurse bees receive is lessened. Pheromones from the amount of open Brood also has an impact.

I'm beginning to wonder if the initial response is Supercedure, but because of the amount of nectar and pollen coming in, the bees start backfilling the Broodnest, reducing the space for the queen to lay.
 
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