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Annual shook swarms for IPM management

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Some members of my county association are now doing annual shook swarms on ALL hives as part of IPM management, they believe that honey yields increase due to the bee’s vigour plus they are dealing with verroa and EFB in a practical way.

Your thoughts?
 

Finman 

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The most stupid thing I have ever heard!

Seems that they do not know what to do and they do even something to say that they are beekeepers.
 

grizzly 

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Theres your answer Admin !!.
Thats got to be the shortest response i have ever seen from PH, it speaks volumes though.
 

Chris B 

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Some members of my county association are now doing annual shook swarms on ALL hives as part of IPM management, they believe that honey yields increase due to the bee?s vigour plus they are dealing with verroa and EFB in a practical way.
If they do it with ALL hives, how can they know if the honey yield is better? There is no control group for comparison.

On the other hand, if their swarm control is so ineffective that all they have is swarmed-out hives that make no honey, perhaps a pre-emptive shook swarm is an improvement on that?
 

Hivemaker. 

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Yes,good for treating efb,apart from that its an idiotic idea to destroy the brood containing thousands of young bee's which can easily be left to emerge in a separate box,or two boxes on the next colony, and made varroa free,if you are bound to do this procedure.but sounds like most think you need to melt the combs down,brood and all. how silly. What about overwintered nuc's?
 
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FenBee 

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My question is apart from IPM, will a shook swarm on a hive prevent or discourage the bees from swarming?

The advantages are the colony is now in a new hive with clean frames and new foundation. They have their work cut out making new wax and later more broad. Does it really matter about the old broad, if the colony is going to be more healthy in the long run. I think it's a great idea and plan to do a shook swarm on my bees tomorrow!

But, will it stop them from swarming in the near future?
 

Finman 

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The advantages are the colony is now in a new hive with clean frames and new foundation.
But, will it stop them from swarming in the near future?
Stupid, stupid and stupid

Or is is vain now word in right place?
 

FenBee 

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OK Finman, but please explain why?

From my view point the colony is in a new very clean hive with new frames and foundation. Most of any Veroa mites are left behind in the drone brood:)

Further, you have not answered the question concerning the tendency to swarm!
 

Hivemaker. 

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Finman i agree,cannot see the point in destroying 30,000 foragers for some whim,if disease is present then yes.
Yes should stop them swarming for a while,they may abscond,so good to confine with a queen excluder.
 

Metamorphosis 

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Most of any Veroa mites are left behind in the drone brood
Quote from FenBee

With regard to Varroa being left in the drone brood I think you'll find more Varroa mites in the sealed brood of workers than you will in drone brood.

I used to place a frame of drone foundation in the brood nest but found there were more mites in the worker brood than drone brood, so now I do not bother using a catchment area for Varroa.

Thank you
 

Finman 

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OK Finman, but please explain why?

From my view point the colony is in a new very clean hive with new frames and foundation. Most of any Veroa mites are left behind in the drone brood:)

Further, you have not answered the question concerning the tendency to swarm!

The basic point is that you have one hive and I have nursed bees 46 years.
I need not convince you.

In this discussing all is mixed: varroa, comb renewing, swarming preventiong, swarming stopping.

Every one has "new very clean hive with new frames and foundation." - this nothing special and no view. You must renew the combs when they are old. If you do not do that, bees chew the old combs off and build new.

You must kill 95% of mites , "most" is sama as nothing. I have had mites since 1982 and still I have got normal yields and even better than before varroa. Varroa is nowaydays smallest problem.

Beekeeping's idea is to get hive to foraging condition and then harvest honey.
Only swarming spoils the yield because swarm takes foragers off. Slpitting the hive is another way to spoil the honey yield.

*****************

SO::: Let the hive grow so long as you notice queen cells.
Then make a flying false swarm, but not shaking
Give foundations to old bees that their swarming fever goes away.
Join parts to get yield.

Start mite control in late summer after yield period.
 

Finman 

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Tendency to swarm

Tendency to swarm is natural reproduction of honey bee. In Australia feral colonies swarm normally twice.
So do unselected stocks in Europe.

Non swarming tendency is anomalia produced by human selection. Instrumental insemination has been succesfull in this work. When beekeeper stops the selection, bee stock returns quickly to normal: 2 swarms per year. It takes only couple of years.

If you continue with swarm queens, they genes are normal and they probably swarm next year.

Only way to get nonswarming bees stock is to buy commercial queens.
Commercial queen has another tendency too, huge laying.
It means that you should use big hives.

When the hive swarms, it's worker age balance is ruined. The swarm gets allmots all foragers. After 4 weeks, when swarm gets new bees, half of foragers are dead. It cannot forage any more.

The brood hive have only nurser bees. It cannot forage for a long time.
NOrmally all brood have emerged before the new queen is at the age of laying. There is a huge gap in new bee production. When new queen starts to lay, all energy of foragers goes to feeding brood. - No honey yield.

To get honey yield the hive must be all the time in good shape. There is continuous flow of brood, new emerging and good balance between brood and foragers.

If for example chalkbrood kills 20% of bees, the hive get no honey surpluss.
If you take off 20% brood to nuc, it means that foraging power works not for a while.

The colony's ability to get surplus is very delicate system.
* A beekeeprs can spoil it easily.
* If colony is weak in sprng, it takes a huge time to get the hive in surplus condition.
* All kinds of early splitting spoils the opportunity to get yield.


If you do not want honey from beehives, it is the same how you nurse them.
It is wast of time to teach such beeholders, because they do not want to learn.
 
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Finman 

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When nonswarming bees swarm...

Even nonswarming bees swarm and I must go through the hives weekly in swarming time. My swarming period is only 2-4 weeks and when yield starts, bees stop swarming.

Reasons to swarm:

* biggest hives swarm first - that is a hard bit...

* they just want to (genes)
* too late enlargening of hive
* bad weathers, they have not enough work
* the hive is too full of honey
* give foundations to draw 1-2 boxes per summer

* small hives become full of brood and nectar in few days. So small colonies are dangerous in good pastures like on rapefield. Same happens to mating nucs.

Avoid swarming:

*Continuous queen breeding and selection
* Spring enlargening of hives
* arrange enough new room in heavy nectar flow - extract quickly
* Scheck the hives continuously during June and July
* join small colonies for main yield.
 
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Brambleman 

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Here's a really interesting book that apparently received some sort of Apimonia award on 2001:
"Essence and Mechanism of Nest Abandonment by Honeybee Swarms" by Z. Lipinski, 302 pp, hardbund. It seems to be published privately, avialble now from IBRA at ~ £20. the author is Polish.
 

Nellie 

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There is an article on the AvonBeekeepers website that did carry out a comparison between shook swarmed and non shookswarmed hives. I think they also bailey changed another group but we're still only talking about a small sample of hives.

From my own experience, I wish I could get in the wayback machine and leap on the guy I inherited my bees from and stop him from doing the shookswarm. Instead of spending my initial weeks watching a colony of bees build up from the 6-7 frames they were on, be worrying about whether to put supers on or if they're going to swarm I wondering if I'm likely to get to do much at all this year except chew my nails.

If I've learnt one thing about shookswarming so far, don't do it on a hive that is anything other than bursting at the seams with bees. The removal of all the existing brood can be a massive set back.

Noob mistake number 2 in my fledgling beekeeping. Not questioning something I thought was unwise in my eagerness to get hands on.
 

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