Controlling Growth of Hive

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Dbure, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    In another topic about "things to know before becoming a beekeeper", I was reading that you should check the agricultural laws for your sate to determine what kinds of fees and inspections might be required. Each state of course has their own laws, but I learned that in the state of Texas you have to have 6 or more hives to be considered an apiary. At this point I only have 4 and am not wanting to grow beyond this. Considering that nature has it's way of expanding things when we are not ready for it, kinda like finding out that you are expecting and had not planned to add to your family, ;) what would a beekeeper need to do to keep their existing hives from creating queen cells and wanting to swarm? I have heard that giving them plenty of space helps with this. If you find that you have queen cells being started, what can you do other than to remove and destroy them? Hopefully I am a ways off from this occurence, but would like to be able to head it off before I ever reach that point. Does anyone have advice on controlling the hive's growth?
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I wouldnt recommend destroying swarm cells its a good way to end up queenless. I would split the hive and sell it to another keep or stay under the 6 hive limit by combining in the fall and splitting in the summer when needed.
     

  3. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Thanks Riverrat. :thumbsup: That gave me an idea. I have a friend who has been wanting a hive but has not had the funds to get one started. This may be a way to help her out that I had not thought of before. I know that the laying of the queen cells is the natural inclination of the hive to survive and I don't want to mess that up. If I understand correctly, don't they sometimes do this when there is something wrong with the existing queen?
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    depends on where the cells are located. Most swarm cells will be on the bottom bar of the frame and several of them. A supercedure or emergency cell is usually found on or near the existing brood nest usually is one or maybe at times 2. Swarming is natures way of hives splitting off into 2. Supercedure is to replace what the works think is a failing queen
     
  5. rast

    rast New Member

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    Debure, before I read Rat's reply, I was going to tell you something very similar.
    Similar, but the queen cells are usually not in the same locations on the frames as swarm cells. What you are referring to is called supercedure. The queen cells are located higher on the frames. Swarm cells are usually located quite close to the bottom of the comb.

    Rat beat me to it. After typing it out, I posted anyway :D .
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Destroying queen cells will only make a queenless hive. By the time they have cells, their mind is made up. They will swarm anyway, leaving you with a dieing hive. As said above, split the hive and get rid of the extra. Put a bit of your money back in your pocket.
     
  7. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Thank you both Riverrat and Rast. I think I am beginning to get a better picture of the difference between the two. Would either of you know what prompts them to prepare for swarming? Is that because there is not enough room for the existing colony to live together? I have heard of colonies lasting for many years, but I assume that is through having several queens?

    Be patient with me. I'm new at this and still learning. And boy do I have alot to learn. :doh:
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I have been keeping bees for 30 plus years and am still learning daily. You don't need to apologize for asking questions. They swarm for the same reason teenagers date. It's their way of reproducing. Some things that trigger it can be prevented, but not all. Eventually, you will have swarms. There is the natural swarm, where they leave the hive, then there's the artificial swarm, where you remove the queen and a good number of bees to make them think they have swarmed. Either way, they will reproduce. That's "the nature of the beast".
     
  9. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    I could use the extra money Iddee. If I could sell the extra, my friend may have to wait until I recoup some of my own expenses. :mrgreen:
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    That's my feeling. I just spent another 250 on boxes yesterday, and 4 hours wiring and installing wax. I plan to sell some of the 7 additional hives I have accumulated this year so far. I overwintered 3 and now have 10.
     
  11. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Or split and recombine the same hive...
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    swarm control is generally only a problem in year two and beyond.

    although the state of Texas may make some law that declares that you must register hives if you have more than 6 'I think' there are about 3 folks scattered out over the entire state to 'enforce' this rule. I would also guess that these three folks are quite busy checking folks that have bees by the thousands and not by the handful. the only reason you might run into one of these folks is if you report to them a problem or someone else reports you as a problem.

    there are things you can do to limit this problem. I would not be so absolute in regards to destroying queen cells as some others on this board. In the proper circumstance I would suggest that you take advantage of these cells as it is a nice and cheap way to replicate hives. even in superscedure cells sometime this does not mean what folks commonly think it does. the literature suggest about half of all cells are destroyed (I would assume by the existing queen) prior to the newer queen emerging.

    the simplist way to 'take care' of cells is to slam (shake, bump, knock) the boxes about like you would if you where making up packages. some folks would simply move the bees and making certain to set individual hives down in a rough manner. a good jolt act to destroy existing queen cells.

    growth of a hive may also be somewhat impacted by any number of measures that you might wish to consider and a short list is...

    1) remove a nuc at the run up to the prime swarm season.
    2) put on a pollen trap early to limit the hive growth.
    3) leveling brood and feed resources early (stealing from peter to pay paul) can limit the growth of the boomers.

    you could of course do nothing beyond having the existing queens clipped and then you could pick up the swarms from the ground and sell these or if they become a real burden you could GIVE them to poor tecumseh who would look after these poor unwanted children like they were his own.
     
  13. rast

    rast New Member

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    Poor Tec is now starting a bee orphanage. It will soon be registered as a "not for profit" organization and be eligible for tax free donations.
    I must pay close attention to this business model :D .
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Most beeks do have a not for profit operation, even though they didn't mean for it to be. :lol:
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I think perhaps rast is on to my deception???
     
  16. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    "Most beeks do have a not for profit operation, even though they didn't mean for it to be. :lol: "

    There goes Iddee, talkin about me again! :rotfl: :rolling: :mrgreen:
     
  17. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    You mean you can make a few bucks at this!?!?

    I thought anything ag related was just somewhere to blow your money and write it off at the end of the year. :lol: