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Author Topic: Shook Swarm vs Brood frame removal  (Read 141 times)

Offline charentejohn

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Shook Swarm vs Brood frame removal
« on: August 14, 2020, 07:26:23 pm »
This came up on Warre (my hive type) related group and may be of interest.   The discussion was very high mite load and a late season shook swarm to help with it.
This is partly due to Warre top bar comb, like mine, being a pain to swap.  I was just looking for advice on the , better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, principle  :smile:

In the discussion it came about that if you have frames then shaking the bees into an empty hive to start again can be a problem.  One option is just to remove the majority of brood on a frame leaving them in the same box.  Basically the same result, may be some random brood about but most removed has to help.
Can be done in a top bar warre but messy, with frames not so bad.

Probably well known but worth mentioning as that time of year.  My count is up but ok so not needed this year but an interesting idea.  I would guess, don't know as new, that timing would be important as regards winter bee rearing ?
You must be the change you want to see in the world - Mahatma Gandhi

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Shook Swarm vs Brood frame removal
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2020, 01:16:48 am »
This came up on Warre (my hive type) related group and may be of interest.   The discussion was very high mite load and a late season shook swarm to help with it.
This is partly due to Warre top bar comb, like mine, being a pain to swap.  I was just looking for advice on the , better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, principle  :smile:

In the discussion it came about that if you have frames then shaking the bees into an empty hive to start again can be a problem.  One option is just to remove the majority of brood on a frame leaving them in the same box.  Basically the same result, may be some random brood about but most removed has to help.
Can be done in a top bar warre but messy, with frames not so bad.

Probably well known but worth mentioning as that time of year.  My count is up but ok so not needed this year but an interesting idea.  I would guess, don't know as new, that timing would be important as regards winter bee rearing ?

Yes timing is important, the first thing you need to know and be sure of, is your mite count; then you can evaluate your situation and go from there. May I ask, how far are you from Brittany? There is a keeper there that I feel sure will help you. I am not volunteering him as I do not have the privilege to do so. lol   But if you are close I will PM you with his information.




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« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 01:32:51 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline charentejohn

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Re: Shook Swarm vs Brood frame removal
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2020, 06:22:54 am »
Thanks for the offer of help but I have a couple of local keepers I can call on, also the french Ruchewarre forum is a help.
I am still getting to grips with mite counts as lots of variables.  Should not be a problem this year as it is my first and the numbers are acceptable.
Warre are great if like me you want to leave the bees to it, not so good when you have to mess with them.  I am hoping that once established in all warre hives (currently have Dadant adapters on them) they will swarm regularly and so whould be less of a problem.

Reason I came across this was because someone mentioned shook swarms and said they were a 'do or die' reaction.  They said it was so bad they needed to start again but the bees struggled to establish later in the year, and in their case failed anyway.  They said they wished they had left them to take their chance with high varroa rather than the stress of a shook swarm.
What came from that was that it is the brood that they were trying to avoid so just removing them would help.  The idea being that it forces a brood break late in the year but may as well leave them with their stores.  Won't remove all mites but nothing does, at least makes it possible to get through winter.

Too early would not be terrible I guess but  removing the final batch of bees meant for winter could be.  It is basically a less drastic solution then shaking them out but as ever with risks.   
You must be the change you want to see in the world - Mahatma Gandhi

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Shook Swarm vs Brood frame removal
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2020, 07:23:02 am »
> I am still getting to grips with mite counts as lots of variables.  Should not be a problem this year as it is my first and the numbers are acceptable.


What are your numbers?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline charentejohn

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Re: Shook Swarm vs Brood frame removal
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2020, 11:43:47 am »
Numbers are about 20/day for one hive and 30/day for the other, more mites in more vigourous hive.  Now occupying 5 frame dadant / warre adapter and into first warre box, so in warre hive terms would be about 2 and a bit warre boxes of bees. 
Problem with mite counts is that I have seen the treatment levels from 3 to 50/day regardless of time of year so very variable.  Hence I am a little sceptical of the numbers.  The hives are doing well and I can't remove the adapters as they have fixed them down.  Long story related to warre bars being flush with the top of the box, so removal of the adapters is a one time deal.  When dadant frames are just stores and they have brood below that (next spring ?) I will remove them carefully, add a new warre box below and then they can hopefully be left alone to sort themselves out.
We still have foraging and probably will for another month.  I am monitoring varroa to see where I end up before then.     

The shook swarm bit is just passing on some general info for people to ponder. I won't be doing it on these as I can't due to the setup. If the count seems high I can start another thread re levels.
You must be the change you want to see in the world - Mahatma Gandhi