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Why bees swarm with a super on

1460 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  BjornBee

I am new here but i need to know why my bees swarm and they had a super on them with only two frames to draw out. This is the second time they have done this they have honey stored in the frames but they did not even cap it they just went on and swarmed.

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I hope it's not still blowing down there...;)

Swarming is attributed to nature's desire to perpetuate the species. Yes, lack of room, age of the queen, and other factors do increase or decrease the rate of swarming. But the number one factor is flow. Healthy hives, regardless of room, number of supers, or anything else, will swarm as dictated by nature.

If you had ten hives and did nothing, 9 out of 10 would swarm. By expanding the brood chamber, rotating boxes, and all the other tricks used, you will lower the impulse to swarm, and if your lucky you may get the percentage down to 50% or less. But you will never stop the swarming.

So look to suppress as much as you can, and then accept the fact that even with everything going correctly, you may still have about 50% swarming of healthy colonies.

Unhealthy hives normally do not swarm...healthy one's do. So you are doing your job, and the bees are doing theirs.
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Bcrazy said:
I noticed no one has mentioned an artificial swarm.
This is one of the basic swarm preventions going. You allow them to think they have swarmed but you have in fact still kept your bees.
I know some beekeepers in UK do this type of swarm prevention then they remove the old queen into a Nuc with brood, stores and bees and the remainder of bees get returned to the original colony so as not to loose the main bulk of bees for foraging.
Do you guys carry out anything simular?
Or what do you do to controll swarming?

If the question would of been "How do I stop swarming", then no doubt I would of written a page and a half about artificial swarming. ;) But since the questions was asked 'Why did my bees swarm?", I gave the proper info based on that.

Of course we practice artificial swarming. There is probably no place on earth that is so isolated or unique that one area practices artificial swarming (or anything else in beekeeping) and the next place does not. Beekeeping is beekeeping.

Myself, I'll be doing about 400 artificial swarm splits in the next 90 days.... ;)
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