Artificial swarm questions....

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RichardK

House Bee
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Joined
May 17, 2021
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Location
Perpignan, France
Hive Type
Dadant
Number of Hives
Ideally 3 to 5.
I have a production hive that definitely wants to swarm & hence plan to do an artificial swarm in the next day or two. I'd like to keep the hive as strong as possible to protect the honey production but am not sure what is the best route. Suggestions very welcome!

I had thought of doing a Pagden swarm but rather than letting the original hive create their own queen, introduce a mated queen so as not to have a brood break. But having just watched Gwenyn Gruffydd I see he takes the queen + two frames and moves them away in order to leave the working force with the hive. He then lets them make their own queen. Presumably I could just introduce my own mated queen, however, it's a big hive & I wonder how their acceptance of her would be? I could really do with some guidance!
 
are there any queen cells? if not then just Demaree them, it leaves you with the full workforce and room to double in size.
Performing a pagden, a 'split' or taking the queen away 'just in case' they swarm is just reducing the colony's productivity, ability to maintain a strong workforce and reduces their foraging ability.
Just introducing a mated queen after removing the old one with a frame or two is just going to postpone swarming for a few weeks (if at all.)
 
Sorry to jump on this thread, but I pretty much had the same question.
I was thinking you could perform an AS and then just make the old hive hopelessly queenless, then reunite soon after?
But it sounds like this won’t work?

The hive in question for me has several queen cells and we performed the AS today.
 
Remove the queen in the manner you described and allow them to bring on their own new queen, one of their own which, unless from a nasty bunch, is way better than buying in.
 
I was thinking you could perform an AS and then just make the old hive hopelessly queenless, then reunite soon after?
But it sounds like this won’t work?
It will with some tweaking. Nuc the queen. Take away every queen cell and return a week later to remove emergency cells.
Introduce a frame of eggs and young larvae from the nuc and repeat.
Then reunite the nuc.
 
Remove the queen in the manner you described and allow them to bring on their own new queen, one of their own which, unless from a nasty bunch, is way better than buying in.
I actually have a few mated queens 'lying around' from some grafting I did some weeks ago from my best colony. It seemed a perfect opportunity to use one?
 
I actually have a few mated queens 'lying around' from some grafting I did some weeks ago from my best colony. It seemed a perfect opportunity to use one?
I work on the premise that a colony intent on swarming expects to find a virgin rather than confronting an already mated queen. I would evaluate those mated queens first and consider doing unites to replace older or lesser queens myself.
 
Yes - 7 or so charged cells. I think they're serious...!
that's different, what I usually do is put the queen in a nuc with a frame of brood, frame of food, plenty of laying space and a frame or two of foundation, a good shake of bees, and keep the nuc in the same apiary not too far away from the original hive
 
that's different, what I usually do is put the queen in a nuc with a frame of brood, frame of food, plenty of laying space and a frame or two of foundation, a good shake of bees, and keep the nuc in the same apiary not too far away from the original hive
Do you give her open brood or capped or it doesn’t matter?

How many frames of bees are needed to provide ‘a good shake’?
 
I shake in two on the premise that a few won't stay
and that's the reason for keeping the nuc in the same apiary as the original hive - you want all the flying bees (swarm instigators) to fly back to the original hive where there in now no queen, rather than risk them deciding to swarm with her from the nuc giving you the most pitifully sized 'prime' swarm imaginable.
 
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and that's the reason for keeping the nuc in the same apiary as the original hive - you want all the flying bees (swarm instigators) to fly back to the original hive where there in now no queen, rather than risk them deciding to searm with her from the nuc giving you the most pitifully sized 'prime' swarm imaginable.
Thanks for the explanation 👍
 

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