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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I split the hive eight days ago. Moved the queen to the nuc. Cut out all the queen cells except two. Moved the partially blowout med super between the hive body and their super. And today they were in a willow tree.
Since I don't have any blown out supers to give them more room that's the best I could do. Next year will be different. I did capture the swarm so that a good thing.
 

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No guarantees I guess. I've been doing cut down splits and removing all swarm cells. I don't know if it makes any difference or not, but it should at least keep them in the box for a few days longer.

So far no matter what I do I always have at least a few swarms. I guess it just goes with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Curious, did you split and move the queen before swarm cells showed up or after? Were you following Mels OTS methods?
As soon as I spotted the queen cells, they were not capped but there was 5-6 of them on three frames. So they were serious about it so I pulled the queen.
When I check the hive today there was no wet brood in the hive so they likely left with a virgin queen. There was only one queen cell in the old hive today.
 

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As soon as I spotted the queen cells, they were not capped but there was 5-6 of them on three frames. So they were serious about it so I pulled the queen.
When I check the hive today there was no wet brood in the hive so they likely left with a virgin queen. There was only one queen cell in the old hive today.

Thanks for expounding. I'm just getting ready for the same cycle, trying to gather as much info as possible.
 

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Swarms are bees natural reproduction process. Once they get into a 'we are going to swarm' mentality, there isn't much you can do to stop them. If they were already forming as many queen cells as you say, they were going to swarm. It is a fine art between splitting too soon, and splitting too late (which I am admittedly still learning that fine line!) Keep your eye on that hive to make sure they don't end up queenless...sounds like you culled a bunch of QC's I learned a long time ago, the bees know better than my meddling mind and fingers do. I checked my hives from a distance by flash light a couple hours ago...even though I gave them more room a couple weeks back, with no QC's at the time, they are bearding like heck. Maybe just the temps, maybe not Always remember, Bees are bees and will do as they please!!! We can only try our best. Don't beat yourself up.
 

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I will take the old queen to cage her while the swarm cells are in development. As soon as the cells are capped I
will move them into a nuc to hatch out. If there are 2 qcs on the same frame I will move them together into the nuc.
After the new queen got mated I will recombine them into one big hive to make some honey. Provide them plenty
of space to prevent swarming is the key here. They will make qcs in an over crowded hive for sure.
 

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Don't pull queens and split at the very first sight of queen cells. At least break all the cells (shake down bees) one or two times. Checking the hive every week for some time. In good breeds breaking cells one or two times is sufficient to stop swarming.

Second: do not leave more than one cell if you pull the queen. Two cells is one cell too much. If that single queen cell and the resulting young queen fails you still have plenty of eggs and your old queen for replacement. It is a myth that they "take care of themself" and do themself tear down the cells. At least in a hive with swarm tendencies. So break all cells except one the next time. There is no risk doing so.
 

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Welcome to the club. Doing things by the book does not guarantee success with bees. Find out for yourself what works best for your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What is a "blow out super"?
Blown out super is what I call a super with all the foundation built out so all the wax has been generated by the bees. Since I expanded my hive count from two colonies to over 30 in one year, I didn't have the resources to checkerboard or give them room to expand the brood space early enough. The best that I could do was pull frames of brood from the center of the box and give them to weak colonies or pull old honey frames from the sides. This I did as soon as the weather turned warmer in early March. With only supers full of foundation, I've been caught with my pants down, so far I've had around four swarms that I know about.The flow is a week old here in the southeast and it's going to be a busy couple of weeks of splitting and chasing swarms. Boxes full of good frames of wax is golden if you have them.
 

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So a super with fully drawn frames. nice that you have decent enough weather to support swarms. Still feels like late winter here is WI. Not even worrying about getting swarm traps up yet.
 

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I normally have very good results from moving the queen and a couple frames of brood to a new hive and taking down most of the queen cells. So don't give up on it. If you do it before they start swarm cells it is almost a sure way to keep them from swarming. My favorite way of swarm prevention is to make two frame splits with the old queen and two frames of brood before the honey flow starts. Give the donor hive a queen cell and they hardly even miss a beat. By the time the flow starts the cell has hatched, mated and started laying. The split being made with the old queen and capped brood build up fast and make a honey crop too.
 

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The best is when you split the hive and think that you've cut 'em off at the pass and they swarm about 20 minutes later while you're working the next group of hives, LOL. You're only doing "best practices" to the best of your knowledge and abilities/limitations.
 
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