You could prevent swarming this way as long as during those inspections you were able to cut EVERY swarm cell. Bees have a knack for hiding some cells in corners and places you might not expect. Add the issue of finding all of those cells when there are 50,000+ bees in the hive....and sooner or later one will likely get overlooked. And that is all it takes..Will a hive that is intent on swarming do it with or without a queen cell? What would happen if a hive were consistently inspected every 7 days and any queen cells were removed? Theoretically would this prevent swarming?
If you do the math, the answer is no.Theoretically would this prevent swarming?
After rereading I guess I'm confused and not understanding the question. It's been my experience that during peak swarm season if I cut out swarm cells the colony will immediately begin to build queen cells again, with or without the queen present.Are you suggesting that, although still queenright, the colony begins making emergency queen cells after removing the initial swarm cells?
Or am I confused? (not uncommon)
I don’t claim to be an expert but I’ve read that a developing queen cell is capped around day 8. I’ve also read that a swarm typically doesn’t leave the hive until the queen begins to pupate. Although going back in at day 7 is cutting it pretty close, it should work by my math.After packing it up the bees start new queen cells on 1 day old larvae.
I always advise beekeepers not use swarm cell cutting as a management tool. The bees will persist in starting again. And the beekeeper must be equally persistent. I haven’t seen anyone who is successful doing this on any scale.My comments are theoretical as well, based on 7 day periods. Some new beekeepers might believe that continual removal of queen cells is the answer to swarm prevention. Just wanted to express some red flags to be aware of.
That is the supposition I was working with, worst case scenario. One week intervals might be too much time.Certainly, if the colony began making emergency cells after the swarm cell cutting….that would make sense. But this isn’t typical in my experience.
yes 8 days is from the egg being laid, so a 1 day old Larvae is really "4 days" old from egg, so in 7 days you could have a 11 day old queen cell if started from a 2 day old larvae. egg hatches in 3 days. queen takes 16 totalI don’t claim to be an expert but I’ve read that a developing queen cell is capped around day 8. I’ve also read that a swarm typically doesn’t leave the hive until the queen begins to pupate. Although going back in at day 7 is cutting it pretty close, it should work by my math.
It is your supposition that the queen cell would be capped 5 days after cutting the swarm cells is what I don’t understand. Certainly, if the colony began making emergency cells after the swarm cell cutting….that would make sense. But this isn’t typical in my experience.
Is there something here I'm missing?
Could you elaborate on the use of a DSB to prevent swarming?Rob, it is my understanding that a hive intent on swarming will always produce swarm cells prior to doing so. Does not make much sense from a reproductive perspective if they didn't. However, removing swarm cells will not prevent the swarm. Removing extra cells may prevent secondary swarming though. The best way to minimize the urge to swarm without spliting is to use a double screen board, Snellgrove board, to upset the age balance within the hive. If the urge tro swarm is due to crowding, opening up the brood nest a bit may prevent it. I prefer to split out the queen and a good number of bees into a nuc or 10 frame single. That pretty much stops them cold.