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Looking to reduce swarms and have a good honey crop with the least amount of effort. Would it be easier to do a split and recombine or snelgrove method?
 

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This is my method, though not easy it works. I locate my queen and take the frame she is on and two more brood frames and put them in a separate brood box. Replace the three frames in the now queenless parent hive putting the replacement frames on the outside. I then put an excluder over the parent brood box/s and put two supers on top of it. A colony not having to feed brood collects a lot of honey! I place an excluder over the supers and put the split on top and provide it with an entrance of its own. The parent hive with its wealth of resources builds quality emergency cells. Ten days after the split, I can harvest surplus emergency cells if I wish. Mostly I just let nature take its course. Then I leave them alone for a month unless it has been a big honeyflow and I needed to add a super or two and that happens. Then after the month, I come and set a bottom board beside the stack and put the split which is now a full single that may have supers on it, on the bottom board. I just reverse the stack until I get to the bottom brood boxes. If I find a queenrite colony I move the supers back on to the hive and add more because we have a strong hive and my main flow is just starting!. My single on the bottom board can then have a second brood box added and supered later as required. Or, I tend to just pile on supers and produce it as a single until the main flow is over. Then I pull the supers, add a brood box of drawn comb and feed it full for wintering.

If the bottom colony failed to raise an emergency queen, I set the old queen and her single on top of the bottom honey heavy brood box and store or extract the other depending on its history and stack on supers. You win either way because you had perfect swarm control and didn't have to buy commercial queens that live five or seven months.
 

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This is my method, though not easy it works. I locate my queen and take the frame she is on and two more brood frames and put them in a separate brood box. Replace the three frames in the now queenless parent hive putting the replacement frames on the outside. I then put an excluder over the parent brood box/s and put two supers on top of it. A colony not having to feed brood collects a lot of honey! I place an excluder over the supers and put the split on top and provide it with an entrance of its own. The parent hive with its wealth of resources builds quality emergency cells. Ten days after the split, I can harvest surplus emergency cells if I wish. Mostly I just let nature take its course. Then I leave them alone for a month unless it has been a big honeyflow and I needed to add a super or two and that happens. Then after the month, I come and set a bottom board beside the stack and put the split which is now a full single that may have supers on it, on the bottom board. I just reverse the stack until I get to the bottom brood boxes. If I find a queenrite colony I move the supers back on to the hive and add more because we have a strong hive and my main flow is just starting!. My single on the bottom board can then have a second brood box added and supered later as required. Or, I tend to just pile on supers and produce it as a single until the main flow is over. Then I pull the supers, add a brood box of drawn comb and feed it full for wintering.

If the bottom colony failed to raise an emergency queen, I set the old queen and her single on top of the bottom honey heavy brood box and store or extract the other depending on its history and stack on supers. You win either way because you had perfect swarm control and didn't have to buy commercial queens that live five or seven months.
I like this idea. It sounds a lot like a Snelgrove method where you use the heat of the bottom colony to keep the split warm. Is there some reason to use a QX instead of a double screen board? Are you trying to draw bees and resources up to the split? I imagine that if the bees can touch, then the bees might not know they are queenless. How often do you get a failure to requeen in the lower colony?
 

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VanceG so if my math is right there are 5 boxes high w/2 QE? Approximately what time frame do you start this process? thanks...
 

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Almost every method is a lot of work (for me) and needs impeccable timing for them to work. Couple of methods I use:

This one highly dependent on timing: Just relocate the entire stack to a new spot once the pear is full bloom plus/minus couple of weeks. Put a new brood box and supers on the original spot. Give couple of frames of open brood+eggs so the "fly-back" original spot. You want to do this at the peak of flying population, a week or two before the full flow. But if you are late then they would have swarmed already. I use this method primarily for the increase but sometime I get a lot of honey if timing works out!

I use "Walt Wright's" method every year on all the hives and works for me.

I combine the first hive inspection with the steps suggested by this method (to minimize the work). The beauty of this method is that you can do it anytime before the build up (not time sensitive), not having to find a queen, and it is almost full proof. All you need is some empty brood frames so keep this in mind. I am using all medium colonies so it is even easier for me since I always have some empty medium frames.

For cold places, search for opening the brood nest method.
 

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VanceG so if my math is right there are 5 boxes high w/2 QE? Approximately what time frame do you start this process? thanks...
I start it a week before your local swarm season on a hive that is strong enough that it will probably swarm.
 

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If you do not want to split or otherwise make increase, a quick and nasty way when you find a hive preparing to swarm is to kill the queen. The hive will still swarm with one or more virgins once they hatch though, so you find and squish all the queen cells except the best two. Why two not one? Because sometimes queen cells die before maturity due to black queencell virus or similar, so leaving two improves the odds, and I have found that the hive will rarely swarm even though there are two queen cells.

I marked any hives that had this done on the lid with a felt pen, so next visit to the yard I did not waste time opening those hives, only opened the ones that had not yet made a swarming attempt.

Last season I was pushed for time so did this and for a "rough" method it was very successful. Easiest and most relaxed swarm season I have ever had. If the queen I had to kill was a good one I caged it rather than kill, and so always had a stock of caged queens in the cab, so any undesireable hives I came across could be requeened with better genetics, so all up I was pretty happy with what was achieved by seasons end.

I know many beekeepers and probably some former bosses would think I have gone to the pack not doing something more intricate, but end of day it was fast, worked, and I don't think I would have got a better honey crop using any other mainstream method.

BTW swarm raised queens are normally well fed and raised, and have a mating rate close to 100%, so you do not end up with any significant number of queenless hives.

Also, where I am in this area, every healthy hive will attempt to swarm. So using the swarm cells for new queens is not breeding towards swarming because they all give it a try. I do though also run a requeening program of some hives with selected genetics, so not all queens in my hives are the result of a swarm attempt.
 
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