swarm?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by JUDELT, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. JUDELT

    JUDELT New Member

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    Hi all, just realized that i had a swarm Sunday eve and didn't see it, except the very end, so didn't know thar's what it was. It was my largest hive and i am just sick!
     
  2. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    It just happens, don't be too upset. Some beekeeps may be able to stop them from swarming, but so far mine have swarmed when they want to, regardless of what I do, like reversing deeps and adding supers when I think they need it. It's what bees do to perpetuate their species.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    swarmin is a natural part of beekeeping. Even the best managed hives will swarm and even the best of the keeps will miss the swarms occasionally
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Keep your queens young. They tend not to swarm.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    It is sad to watch one of your own hives swarm out of site. Just think positive about it, maybe it will give some keep a new start that lost all of their hives over the winter or a new keep a beginning point. Frustrating to say the least but it also helps the gene pool.
     
  6. JUDELT

    JUDELT New Member

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    thanks everyone.
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    What river said! I know and older keep that does nothing to prevent swarms (and they do) and he almost always enjoys better than average overwintering success (young queens) :wink:
     
  8. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I have alway believed you can largely prevent swarming with some manipulation, and making a practice to re-queen every other year. As has been previously stated once in a while you will get suprised and a swarm will issue, but not often if you've done your homework. After the 2nd year the queen will in all probability start to slow down a bit or fail. My personal preferences is to get the queen I want rather then the queen they give me. Know buying queens is neither cheap or a sure thing, but younger queens will certianly lay better patterns then older queen comming to a end of thier career.
    Barry
     
  9. jmblakeney

    jmblakeney New Member

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    Wow, you guys really see the glass as half full. Very good info here and way to keep a keeps spirits up.:thumbsup:
    James
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    to prevent swarming just keep your bees sick and starved... that will correct that small problem.

    as I have expressed elsewhere there is a certain undeniable joy in standing in the middle of a swarm as it lift into the air. for any number of reason a beekeeper would rather not have bees swarm and as barry seems to express above there are manipulations that can minimize this natural tendency.... if however you come to beekeeping believing that your hive will never swarm (no matter what or how many manipulation may be performed) I suspect you will quite quickly be disappointed.
     
  11. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    swarming,

    i stopped reversing hives some time ago, unless i have one that doesn’t ‘want’ to move down. my one cent, i really think this does nothing more than unnecessarily move the bees furniture around for them to reorganize and make them snarly. the bees move up, the bees move down, they get congested. i put supers on with foundation , add deep foundation, trade frames to weaker hives, divide or make nucs. for myself now this year, the bees have sent me scrambling. will be doing a variety of these manipulations and most likely making nucs from swarm cells, and hope for the best.

    don't be discouraged, but you missed the best part as tecumseh said, the swarm lifting to the air!
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Tec snip:
    there is a certain undeniable joy in standing in the middle of a swarm as it lift into the air.

    Efmesch adds: Listen for the music. Only a swarm performs that special symphony.
     
  13. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Tec,
    I do have the greatest respect in your knowledge and commonsense approach to beekeeping, with that said, I do disagree with the notion that swarm control is not achievable without starving, or allowing your bees to be sickly. No doubt if conditions are right, and you do little to prevent it, and EVEN with the proper manipulations, you will get the occasional swarm, I have only 5 hives for the moment, with that said for me to spent a day, and doing the needed actions to attempt to circumvent swarming seems prudent, and while tedious, I believe is worth efort. I will say, having seen several swarms from other yards is most impressive does lift the heart if not the spirit to witness such a event and the buzzing is like no other sound generated in a normal hive.
    Barry
     
  14. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    086.jpg

    Nothing better than sitting in the middle of a swarm, sweet music!!
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    One man with 5 hives and one man used to working 500 today and another 500 tomorrow discussing swarm control.

    Yep, I can see a disagreement coming..... :D
     
  16. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    lol as I said, I do have the time to do what I believe is needed, lol from a commercial beeks perspective might seem either waste of time, or simply too time costly.
    Barry
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Barry writes:
    I do disagree with the notion that swarm control is not achievable without starving, or allowing your bees to be sickly. No doubt if conditions are right, and you do little to prevent it, and EVEN with the proper manipulations, you will get the occasional swarm

    tecumseh:
    well actually Barry I don't think we are disagreeing here at all.

    first my suggestion of sick and/or starving bees was simple ONE method (or several possibilities) of INSURING a hive will not swarm <it may however abscond for either of these reasons... which to most new beekeepers can look identical to swarming.

    all 'good beekeepers' do what we can do to limit swarming but even a small bit of experience under the belt fairly well establishes in the mind that swarming cannot be TOTALLY eliminated no matter how much effort or how many hives you may operate.

    there are thing that commercial folks often do that are typically beyond what hobby folks do to limit swarming. some variation of these has been touched upon in this thread with the exception of package production which limits swarming in several ways. however (and imho).... no matter what the strategy or how determined the effort or the number of hives operated some swarming is just inevitable.

    I often think we place to much negative rhetorical baggage on swarming that new beekeepers interpret to mean that their efforts as a beekeeper are a failure since their hive swarmed. I am simply suggesting here that a beekeepers attitude should be redirected to think of the more positive aspects of what swarming directly implies (quite obviously the hive in question has been extremely successful... and therefore the beekeeper must be doing something right).
     
  18. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I always thought a swarming hive was a sign of a healthy hive!
     
  19. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    That is EXACTLY what Tec is saying--just in a bit more detail. :write:
     
  20. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Thanks for a thousand posts, Efmesh. And I would have to add..... A thousand GOOD posts.