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Went up to my brother in law's to go through his hives with him today. He has 3 new hives started this year and 2 from last year. I thought it would be good experience for me. The new hives were all doing well. One of his 2nd year hives had a bunch of queen cells. (6-8) they were on the bottom of the frames so from what i have read they are swarm cells? He added a super but may be too late. Wish i had a trap up there...lol. Anyway, I had a good time and learned new things. i will take any opportunity to look in a hive! Sure is fascinating.
 

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G3 is right. Once they decide to swarm and start queen cells, their decision to go has been made and cutting cells etc. would be an exercise in futility. Grab the queen and a few frames of brood, start a nuc, and leave 2 or 3 cells in the original hive so it can requeen itself.
 

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once the swarming impulse has started it pretty hard to stop. Adding a super now is to late. The advise g3 and tec gave you are about the only options you have at this point. I personally would split.
 

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I aquired a new hive in one deep and was told it would need another box right away which I did. Did not want to disturb them too much in a new site and weather a bit rough so did not examine frame by frame. A week later there were swarm cells galore. Did a split and must have missed a queen cell on the frames we put in with the old queen. A few days later she was gone and a virgin running around in her place. Not sure if the old queen was just determined to go walk about or the new hatched queen tagged her. Apparently the hive was well into the swarm mood when I brought it home. We did reduce the cells down to two in the other hive and it appears to have requeened OK without losing a swarm. More good luck than good management though. I think bees can be very humbling.

With lots of burr comb all around in 9 frames spaced out, plus drone brood here and there and all crawling in bees it sure makes for a newbee stabbing in the dark!
 

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Yes, I'm beginning to think there is no way to prevent swarms from happening 100% of the time. I think the bees the well aware that their numbers are dwindling and are swarming despite our wishes and best efforts to prevent them from doing so. Can't say that I blame them either.
 
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