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13 queens cells in last two inspections

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anniebee 

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Is that unusual or is this just a seasonal issue? Should I take action? (apart from breaking down the cells) What would you do?

My mentor has advised splitting the hive. He thinks it could be that they are overcrowded.

Queen is present and laying well. Lots of eggs and sealed brood.

I have a second hive to bring into play, so it's not an issue to do it, I would just like a few opinions from other beeks

Are we doing the right thing splitting them? Are there any other options?

We're checking the hive every 8 days.

The beekeeper I bought the hive from is dead against splitting it, he thinks it's overkill and "They'll be grand, just keep a good eye on them, and go through the hive every 8 days"

Thoughts please?
 

admin 

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Have you placed your empty hive next to your full hive ?
If you miss a queen cell then you have a very good chance of them swarming to your empty box as insurance.

I have been increasing this year so for me it's easy to say go for a split.

If you dont want to split and they really are a big hive you could always get them to draw out combs on a second brood box.

I have a hive at the moment that I am unsure about,Its one I have made up a couple of months ago with a new queen so no queen cells or thoughts of swarming,the problem is they are hanging out the hive on a hot day as they have got so big ! now do I split/double box or leave them to it ?
I think I will do as my sig say's..
 

jon 

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You can't just keep removing queen cells every 8 days. The first time you miss one you will lose half your bees.
I have artificially swarmed 6 out of 8 colonies so far this year.
I move the colony with the queen cells to the side and place the new empty hive on the old site. I lift out the frame with the queen on it and put it in the middle.
If you have some drawn comb put it in there as well to give the queen somewhere to lay right away.
Put the queen excluder and supers back on.
I then place the old colony above the crown board and put the roof back on.
This has the effect of seperating the queen and flying bees from the brood and should reduce the swarming instinct.
You then have a week to decide what you want to do with the brood and queen cells. You could make 3 or 4 nucs or just reduce down to one QC to make another colony.
You could remove the older queen and recombine the 2 colonies later if you wanted.

A lot of older beekeepers think you should never look in the brood box and never inspect or manipulate a hive. Hive management involves retrieving a swarm when it emerges.
 

anniebee 

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Thanks guys,

I do have the new hive next to my hive and I also have a bait box at the end of the acre as an attempt to catch them if they swarm.

That's good advice about where to situate the brood box. I would never have thought of that.

We're planning on doing the split on Friday, I'll let you know how it goes.
 

Finman 

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When the colony have got swarming fever, the best option is to do like Jon said.

Then put on old place a new hive, queen and one brood frame and foundations.

Bees draw foundations during one week and their fewer is gone. Then you may unite hiveparts that they bring honey. Leave the new queen into the hive.
 
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SER 

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Have you placed your empty hive next to your full hive ?
If you miss a queen cell then you have a very good chance of them swarming to your empty box as insurance.
Is that really likely? I thought I read somewhere that they like to be a certain distance away before making a new home.

If so its handy to know!

Si,
 

match 

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The bees will tend to swarm and hang somewhere 20-50 feet away from the hive - or as far as the queen will fly. They'll then send out scouts for a new home (although they're probably doing this for a few days before they even swarm). This can be up to a mile or 2 away, but is generally much closer.

The 'best' site they find will generally win the vote, and a bee hive with frames in it looks pretty good, especially as the presence of beeswax on the frames will trick the bees into thinking its been used previously by an older colony.

More often than not a swarm will settle for it - especially if there aren't any good hollow trees or roof spaces to get into nearby.

And if nothing else, you may well find someone elses escaped swarm settling in it!
 

admin 

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Is that really likely? I thought I read somewhere that they like to be a certain distance away before making a new home.

If so its handy to know!

Si,
Yes all the books say they go about 800 yards plus,BUT try it and see,you will be suprised ;)
Dont forget a nice piece of old dirty comb and some foundation.
 

SER 

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It suddenly seems daft having my spare hives sat in the workshop! I'll stick them in the apiary and free up some space. :)

Si,
 

Poly Hive 

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Can I make this point yet again.

If you have cells the bees are hell bent on reproduction and taking them out on a constant basis will make your bees swarm off a just started cell.

THEY WILL GO REGARDLESS.

The ONLY thing you can do with a colony throwing cells is to guide it to where they NEED to go. That is to reproduce themselves.

End of.

PH
 

Finman 

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Is that really likely? I thought I read somewhere that they like to be a certain distance away before making a new home.

If so its handy to know!

Si,
One kilometre or more. At least they will not wait for you..........You may run after them 100 yeards but then they dispear.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
A lot of older beekeepers think you should never look in the brood box and never inspect or manipulate a hive. Hive management involves retrieving a swarm when it emerges.
Does anyone on here actually employ this beekeeping method - i.e. no intervention and just re-house swarms as and when they occur?

What about inspecting for disease?

I'm intrigued to know!
 

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