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Author Topic: Looking forward...swarm prevention  (Read 223 times)

Offline Aroc

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Looking forward...swarm prevention
« on: August 12, 2018, 12:45:51 pm »
 Seemed to have a decent year as far as bee  production. Started out with three hives and we are going to overwinter 12. Problem is I don?t want any more hives. What can someone do for swarm prevention aside from splits. I don?t really want to get into selling nucs.
You are what you think.

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Looking forward...swarm prevention
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 02:19:10 pm »
Aroc, greetings: keep young queens, give lots of room.  A crowded hive in spring is just asking for a swarm.  Requeen this spring, this helps but is not guaranteed to prevent swarming.  The main thing is to prevent overcrowding.

Some clip wings of the queen, I do not as my hives are all on stands and a queen with clipped wings just falls to the ground when she attempts to fly.  Once the clipped queen is grounded from an attempted swarm flight there is little chance she can crawl back into the hive which may have hive supports five feet away from the entrance and one stand may support 5 hives.

A queen with clipped wings on a hive that is on the ground may be just fine, I don?t know as I said, my hives are all on stands above the snow line.

I hope your bees winter OK, Montana winters can be brutal.
Blessings

Offline cao

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Re: Looking forward...swarm prevention
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 03:16:48 pm »
There's no foolproof way to keep the bees from swarming.  Checkerboarding above the broodnest will help.  I've found that second year hives swarm less than third or fourth year hives.  So keeping young queens/hives help.  If you are lucky enough to have all 12 make it through the winter then when they swarm(and some will no matter what you do) you can combine the weaker ones later in the season. 

In general give them space(don't let them get honey bound), have young healthy queens(or remove them to simulate a swarm), and pray to the bee gods. :wink:

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Looking forward...swarm prevention
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 07:05:14 pm »
If I remember there was a topic about putting a piece of queen excluder over the entrance and providing drone escapes in the hive on the outside frames. The drone escapes were made of the nozzles of glue/silicone tubes and cut to a drone size.
For a small number of hives it sounded like an option.

Offline Skeggley

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Re: Looking forward...swarm prevention
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 07:40:25 pm »
Split then recombine once swarm season is over.

Offline beepro

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Re: Looking forward...swarm prevention
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 11:08:37 pm »
"What can someone do for swarm prevention aside from splits."

Combine all the queens into their individual box using QEs.  Let's say you have one hive that is 3 boxes deep.  Using 2 QEs will allow you to
house 3 queens in this colony with each queen per box.   You get to keep the strongest queen(s) that survive this winter.   With a QE on they cannot
all swarm away.  So if there is a chance of a swarm only the queen from the bottom box is lost.   

In this season's little bee (queens) experiment, I'd put 2 to 3 queens in each colony with the QEs on.   No issue of killing the laying queen!