Welcome to Eddie O Bee Adventure


This should be interesting. I have no experience in beekeeping, except what I can glean from others.

For timeline . . . the install date will be April 22, 2012

Please comment. I need all the help I can get!

Eddie O.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Swarming--What to do--How to cause/prevent

I ran across a great post on the Beesource Forum about hive splits

Here is a copy of one of the posts:

FlagStaffBaughs, Queen caps are common and may never get used. Better to interleave frames of foundation with two frames of brood. Basically it's just opening the brood nest. The interweaving is so they can't ignore the foundation, if it's on the sides it may get ignored.

Splitting a hive is often done to prevent swarming, but when you consider the factors involved in the lead up to swarming, it becomes apparent that you can actually exacerbate the impulse to swarm rather than relieve it with splits.

Example of a split increasing likelihood of swarming.
Remove all frames of open brood and eggs from the parent hive, placing them in a Nuc. Also take two frames of stores. Leave queen in the parent hive. Move all frames in parent hive together in the middle and place frames of foundation on the sides.

In the parent hive there is nowhere for the queen to lay. Foragers have no where to store nectar and pollen so fill cells as soon as brood emerge. A large number of Nurse bees are unoccupied. Foundation on the outsides of the brood nest will not likely get drawn. So the parent hive is still likely to swarm.

Example of a split decreasing likelihood of swarming.Move parent hive at least a few feet away from original location. Place a new hive in the original place of the parent hive. Move one frame with eggs and two frames of capped brood to the new hive. Also move one frame of stores with a frame of foundation between the brood frames and the stores frame. In the parent hive place foundation in the broodnest alternated with a least two frames of brood.

The foragers will go to the new hive. Being queenless the new hive will build queen cells and raise a new queen. Due to no where to store all the nectar coming in from the large number of foragers, it forces them to build comb. They won't swarm because they don't have a queen and because they have open brood. It will take up to a month before the queen starts laying.

The old hive has no incoming resources due to no foragers, so empty cells from emerging brood remain empty until the queen can lay an egg in them. Alternated frames of (2) brood and (1) foundation force the Nurse bees to build comb. Which allows the queen more space to lay and so keeps the Nurse bees busy. There would usually be enough stores in the hive to last them several weeks. By that time young bees have started foraging.

Matthew Davey

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