Swarm Control Advice

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by darrenct83, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. darrenct83

    darrenct83 New Member

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    I didn't get in there soon enough it appears! Last year I started this hobby with a Top Bar beehive thinking it would be easier. Now I am working on getting the bees in to a real hive. I have had very few problems until this spring. I am going to list a chain of events and get your advice how to manage the situation.

    SAT, MAY 26

    I see a cloud of bees land on a tree near the hive. I was unable to catch them before my precious bees went airborne and I watched the cloud disappear in to the sunset.

    I purchased a couple deep hive boxes with frames of drawn comb on Monday with the intent of trying to move bees out of the top bar in to the langstroth.

    FRI, JUN 1
    Before I could get a chance to work the hive another swarm landed high in a tree. I wasn't letting this one get away. I left work and climbed the tree and shook the bees in to a sack. I emptied the sack in to one of my deep boxes. When done there was still a cluster of bees on the tree, but I had to get back to work. Just before I got home the bees on the tree went airborne and reentered the parent hive. All the bees I put in the deep hive box also entered the parent hive.

    I came home and inspected my hive. There are capped queen cells, I did not see any open ones, but I may have missed them. I'm still kind of new at this.

    Bee Transfer
    To get bees in the langstroth I spaced some bars wide enough for bees to get out the top of the top bar and placed a deep box with frames of comb right on top.

    IMG_4325.JPG

    My Questions
    1.Will the new space of the Langstroth prevent additional swarming?

    2.Should I cull the queen cells(I do not know if I have a queen now, I see no eggs or larvae)

    3.Should I attempt a split? I can modify my top bars to slip in to a langstroth.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Do not cull any queen cells!
    Your hive swarmed on May 26th so the original queen is gone. It sounds like your hive threw an afterswarm on June 1st that possibly returned. Culling any queen cells now may leave your hive hopelessly queenless considering that there are no eggs since the original queen left. You need a queen to hatch, mate and return.
    The langstroth on top may help.
    Why attempt a split at this point? You first want to make sure you at least have a queen in the hive you have now, and that may take days to determine.
     

  3. darrenct83

    darrenct83 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply,

    I understand how the initial swarm takes the original queen, but I am a little unsure about the dynamics of afterswarms. If I had an afterswarm I can presume that a queen had hatched and tried to take bees with her, but decided to return, correct? My thoughts on culling queen cells was to allow her to rule the roost now. Any advice I can get on keeping the bees I have now in there would be appreciated.

    My biggest concern is losing bees to another afterswarm. That is why I had considered performing a split.

    I put that other box on top yesterday. I peeked in this afternoon and there were only one or two bees inside. Should I consider making gaps in the bars bigger(My gaps are approx 1/2" wide and there are five or six of them. Or should I consider removing the bars under the box all together. The ultimate goal is to get the brood nest(and queen) in the top box and get the TBH out of there completely.
     
  4. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    if in fact you have a virgin queen in your hive right now your queen celll problem will go away ..virgin queen will see to that. After swarms are caused by the virgin queen leaving with a small cluster of workers. The next virgin queen to hatch, may or may not do the same thing, usually the first to emerge takes care of business. and prepares for mating flights.