Swarming: to Discourage or Encourage

Should I let my bees swarm?

  • Discourage

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Encourage

    Votes: 1 100.0%

  • Total voters
    1
  • Poll closed .

WildBird

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Hello! I don't have bees yet, but I will probably get them within the next couple of years. I am especially interested in swarming.

I have a friend who has kept bees for a while and she said that whenever she sees cells for new queen eggs she crushes them because it means possible swarming. If I have another hive ready would it be okay for the bees to swarm if I could get them to go right to the extra hive? Should I let them swarm or crush the queen egg cells? I just want to be prepared.
 
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Beekissed

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I'm no expert on it at all but those that keep a lot of bees do both....they often remove queen cells and/or let them develop, depending on how they want their bee yard to grow, what time of year, how strong any given hive is, etc.

The folks to ask on that are those that do this full time....it's generally against the rules to post links to other forums here, but since we have no good info on beekeeping or many beeks here, I figure they would allow it.

These guys can help...


In particular, Michael Bush is a fellow that treats new beeks gently and is patient to answer questions. He has a world of good information, has written books and gives talks all over. Nice guy. http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm
 

soarwitheagles

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Crush the new queen cells? For us, we NEVER crush the new queen cells!

Crushing new queen cells severely interrupts the nature cycle of the honeybee survival laws of multiplication.

Why go against nature? Once a colony starts creating swarm cells, it is nearly impossible to stop them from swarming.

Here is what we do:

1. Carefully inspect all frames when swarm cells are located and correctly identified [remember: swarms cells are quite different than supercedure cells].

2. Make up a nuc with one frame of brood, one frame of honey/pollen and at least 3 cups of nurse bees [we usually use 5 frame nuc boxes].

3. Transfer the swarm cells into the new nuc box after waiting 24 hours.

4. Check the nuc box 28 days later and look for new eggs/larvae.

Special note: when we are making up queen cell builders, we will actually take the left over natural swarm cells and install them in various nuc boxes. Most of the time, we have experienced 100% success rate. Example: we discovered 4 frames with 2 or more swarm cells. So we made up 4 new nucs and after waiting 24 hours, placed the swarm cells in each nuc. 3-4 weeks later, we have a brand new queen in each nuc that is laying eggs like a machine gunner! Finally a month later, we then have 5 strong, healthy, full colonies instead of one colony with crushed swarm cells!

Last: I have a beekeeper friend that came over to one of our bee yards. I watched as he cut out 12 individual swarm cell with a razor [it was like watching a surgeon]. So he took 12 swarm cells off the frames from one colony and installed them in 12 small nucs. A month later, we had 13 colonies.

I was absolutely amazed...
 
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