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'purpose' should be on the back of you mind when you attempt anything with 'the girls'. asking yourself the simple question 'why do I want to do this' is incredible constructive in keeping the bee keeper and the bees on task.

hats off to you in following Omie's example. I personally have enjoyed following Omie adventure in the bee world. for someone like myself (to whom bee keeping is almost second handed thing) reading the story of the progression of a rank new bee to someone raising their own nucs and queens is quite insightful.

I really don't think at your location you necessarily have to consider honey vs bees as the only option. since pulling off a nuc is one way to minimize swarming why not consider doing both? timing is without a doubt the important consideration here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Tec: So just wait until one of the hives gets to "that point" and make the split? That makes sense. And, if all goes well this winter, it should happen in the spring (according to what I read. And, since at least one of these queens, probably both, have made it to "swarm size" at least once before, it's even more probable.) Okay, I like this idea better. :thumbsup:
 

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skyhigh writes:
So just wait until one of the hives gets to "that point" and make the split?

tecumseh:
wait or drive the hive there by feeding liberally with syrup. the syrup can also allow you to get some comb drawn which you will also need for splits.

but actually don't just wait but become acquainted with the signs of swarming. swarming being usually something you wish to avoid but in this case you want to take advantage of. a few years back when I made my largest percentage increase this was my method.. I fed hives with syrup up till they got very crowed and begin bearding, constantly watch for cells and at the first sign of cells split into as many parts as reasonable. I think I went from somewhat less that 10 hives to 40 in one spring season. I think I even took off a bit of honey. you do need to have equipment ready way ahead of the curve so you can not wait on that aspect of the job either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
tecumseh said:
I think I went from somewhat less that 10 hives to 40 in one spring season. I think I even took off a bit of honey. you do need to have equipment ready way ahead of the curve so you can not wait on that aspect of the job either.
Oh, my. :eek: I think someone would notice that many bees/behives in my little neighborhood. I'm thinking more along the lines of 2-6 nucs at any given time along with my two main hives. (I'm also hoping that, if the nucs get away with me, that there is a possibility of selling a few, full, productive ones...?)

Btw, I find this VERY interesting!

So, as opposed to making as many splits as reasonable/possible, when I do see signs of swarming, would making one split be as effective? (I figure that would control rampant apiary growth at least a little. ;)) Also, as I aim to introduce a purchased queen to the split/nuc (I'm not going to get into the "raising one's own queens" in my area, atm) would I want to try and make preemptive splits rather than wait until there are swarm cells?

Finally, I'm currently checking my two hives every other week (alternating). Is this often enough to catch swarm cells? Is this too often? (will it disrupt the bees too much?)

Inquiring minds want to know! :D
 

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the number of splits per hive is a personal thing.... but generally the stronger the split the less failures you will experience. even a even split is an acceptable means of reducing swarming.

sounds like you need to come to recognize bearding (generally a sure sign of crowding and bees doing well). once you begin seeing this think about splitting.

your checking program sounds about right for a new bee keeper where part of the purpose should be 'learning as much as possible'. I would not recommend checking any more frequently than this unless you have a recognized problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Thank you, Tec! :thumbsup: Lots to think about with the splits/swarm control. (readreadreadread) No bearding so far. Good thing, I guess since the hives are both so new. (But I've seen pictures and videos, so I have an idea.)

As for checking, I'm still in that "nervous" stage. Until I have my queens marked and clipped, until I have supers on both, until I have robber guards on both...those are the things going through my head. Until all these things, I feel like I have to get in there and see that all is going as it should. Hopefully, once I have all these "requirements" met, I'll not come up with more things to worry about and can relax (it has to happen, right?!)
 

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""I'll not come up with more things to worry about and can relax (it has to happen, right?!)
""

OH, I'm sure it will happen. I just don't know when. After 35 years, I'm still waiting. It's gonna happen, tho, that I'm sure of.

If a swarm queen egg is laid the day after you check, they will swarm 12 to 13 days later. Your two week check will be just in time to see them go. It's better to prevent swarm conditions than to try to stop a swarm after they start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Iddee said:
If a swarm queen egg is laid the day after you check, they will swarm 12 to 13 days later. Your two week check will be just in time to see them go. It's better to prevent swarm conditions than to try to stop a swarm after they start.
:shock: Okay. So, keep on top of "signs". Don't wait. *sigh* Sounding easier by the moment! :lol:
 
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