Strong new hive from pkg, found swarm cell...

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by Bigwig, May 19, 2011.

  1. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

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    Hey everyone

    I have two new hives from packages that I installed on Easter. One has been a little stronger and further along. I checked on it today and it had about 9 frames working (one hive body). I have a mix of foundation and starter strips, but on the frames with strips they are almost full.

    On one frame I spotted an uncapped swarm cell; I do not know if there was an egg in it. I slightly freaked and went ahead and put on a second hive body, which I was planning on doing really soon anyway.

    I'd rather not have such a new hive swarm, but if they're strong enough I don't want to hold them back either. Will placing the second hive body postpone swarming?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    When you say you saw a swarm cell, was it on the bottom of the frame like a true swarm cell would be, or was it more in the middle of a swarm cell? You also say it was uncapped, was there an egg or brood in it?

    I ask because it is perfectly normal for the bees to keep a couple of queen cups ready in case of emergencies, they typically maintain them more toward the middle of the frames instead of allong the bottom of the frames. The fact that there's only one makes me think that this is what it is rather than being a true swarm cell.

    If it is a true swarm cell though, and there are others that you didn't see, and there are brood in them, then I would say it's already too late to prevent them from swarming.

    However, to better answer your question, if they are not already preparing to swarm, then yes, adding more space to the hive will help qwell their desire to swarm. Another thing you can do is swap hive positions to get some of the bees from the stronger hive to join the weaker hive thus depopulating the stronger hive slightly which strengthening the weaker hive slightly.
     

  3. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. The cell was on the middle of the frame and to the side, almost to the edge. The frame itself was the second one in, I think, and I did not look to see if there was an egg or brood in it, though I'll make sure to look in the future.

    When you say swap positions you mean moving the actual hives? As it turns out, I have to move the hives anyway, but for the sake of getting more sun - I have Small Hive Beetle, and the smaller hive, which has the larger number of beetles, is also the one in the shade the longest due to angle of sun.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    first a queen cell cups are a normal part of the landscape and really don't mean much. an active cell with larvae and royal jelly is another matter. If the cell in question is anything more than a dry cup this does certainly matter (although whether you choose or don't choose to do anything about the situation is another matter). one queen cell in a new package is much more likely a superscedure rather than a swarming situation.

    as I have suggested in the past 'superscedure' in a new package may not ALWAYS indicate a weak or failing queen. superscedure cell can be encourage by one or two bee keeper practices like.... 1) in doing an inspection and placing one frame with eggs outside the primary cluster and then experiencing a bit of cool weather and 2) excessive feeding which restricts area in which the queen can lay.

    in most 'forced superscedure' situations a robust queen will take care of the cell herself. if she does not dispatch the cell herself this likely leads to multipule queens in the box and not swarming.