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I have two hives, one weak and one strong. The strong hive is about to swarm. I've been trying to keep it from swarming for several weeks now by reversing hive bodies and by making a split. But they still seem intent of swarming. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried switching the positions of a weak hive and a strong hive to balance out the populations. The idea is that all the working bees would return to the weak hive and the strong hive would have more space and the threat of swarming would be reduced. I have heard of experienced beeks doing this, but the only check I have is the thought of bees trying to go into a hive that is not theirs and wheather this would start a bee battle and do more harm than good. Any thoughts?
 

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works good to help a weak hive- they dont argue with a bee bringing IN nectar or pollen:). wont help with swarming much. try to find the queen and move her to a nuc- works most of the time. good luck,mike
 

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If you don't care about a honey crop for the swarmy hive I would do as suggested, but I would probably break the hive down into mulitple nucleus colonies. It's better for you to keep the bees then have them end up in a wall or a tree. You can always try swarm prevention again next year ;)
 

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Too risky switching positions. You are taking the chance that the strong hive's workers will ball the alien queen and you might consequently lose time concerning the honey crop. A better way IMHO would be to equalize the hives. Take some brood frames with bees from the strong hive and unite them (paper method) to the weak hive. If they have not started to build queen cells in the stronger hive just replace those brood frames with the empty frames of the weak hive. Many beeks equalize their hives at the start of the season. OMTCW
 
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