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MrB 

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I realise that there could be some strong views on this one, but, i would be interested to see how many beekeepers use this practice and whether they are comercial keeperes or hobbyists
Also, thier reasons for clipping/not clipping.

Admin, perhaps a poll?
 

Hombre 

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With an unclipped queen, when you have a swarm, you lose the queen and mostly all of your flying bees. With a clipped queen, they realise that the queen is not with them and return to the hive to await the emergence of a new queen.

Either way is tragic, but I'm sure that you can see that no queen is somewhat better than no queen and no bees.

Essentially it buys you a little time in case of accidents and is an insurance policy that I personally endorse.

Just don't cut off legs or damage your queens whilst clipping.
 

Bcrazy 

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I always clip my queens.

I know some who think its cruel and do not clip queens on ethical grounds.
It's everyone to their own devices and ways of beekeeping.

Hombre I c your on the fiddle again!

Regards;
 

match 

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I don't, but then I have my apiary very close by, and can easily manage a weekly inspection in swarming season.

I've practised on drones in case I ever decide I want to start doing it, but knowing me the first queen I tried it on I'd take a leg off! :svengo:
 

admin 

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A couple of pictures from this summer.
Ignore the camera dates as I never have it set right and have to remove the batteries or else they drain in 10 minutes.

Second picute is 20 minutes later once they realised the clipped queen was not going with them.
 

MrB 

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Second picute is 20 minutes later once they realised the clipped queen was not going with them.
Mark

I can see the reason for doing it, but.
as you show on the 2nd picture all the bee's are going back but dont you still have the reason for the swarm impulse being there in the first place?
 

MrB 

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With a clipped queen, they realise that the queen is not with them and return to the hive to await the emergence of a new queen.
Ahh ok, so they all go back in await a virgin to emerge and then the virgin or the workers kill off the old queen?
 

VEG 

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It doesnt mean they wont try and swarm again when the new virgin queen emerges. I lost a good swarm from one of my hives this year. I was gutted but they built back up well. I can see the reason behind it but dont think i would want to do it. :cheers2:
 

admin 

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Mark

I can see the reason for doing it, but.
as you show on the 2nd picture all the bee's are going back but dont you still have the reason for the swarm impulse being there in the first place?
During swarm season the bees are more important than the queen.
More often than not you will lose a clipped queen in the grass,BUT you still have your bees to forage and bring in a yield.
You also have a virgin that will hatch in a few days.
 

MrB 

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Ok, i am going to have to fight with myself over this one :boxing_smiley:
i suppose its more ecconomical than having spare hives for swarm control.
but i think i would feel uneasy about diong it.
 

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Thats cool MrB,its nice that we all do things different.
 

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Ok, i am going to have to fight with myself over this one :boxing_smiley:
i suppose its more ecconomical than having spare hives for swarm control.
but i think i would feel uneasy about diong it.
That I do not understand how it works or what it means?

Clipping only hinders workers to escape suddenly and gives some days to beekeeper to handle the swarming hive.
Next you should do a false swarm and you need spare hives.

Clipping is only small part of swarm controll. In Finland perhaps 10% of beekeepers clip the queen.

.
 
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MrB 

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That I do not understand how it works or what it means?

Clipping only hinders workers to escape suddenly and gives some days to beekeeper to handle the swarming hive.
Next you should do a false swarm and you need spare hives.

Clipping is only small part of swarm controll. In Finland perhaps 10% of beekeepers clip the queen.

.
I was thinking that doing one of the above (False swarm or Clipping) might be sufficient, i guess i an wrong with that.
perhaps with only a couple of hives i should be able to spot the signs in time to carry out a false swarm perhaps without having to clip as well.
 

taff.. 

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this year I lost a swarm a few days after doing an artificial swarm, you cannot rely on one single method or other working on its own
 

Finman 

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I have 15-20 m high pine trees on my property. Often swarms tend to rise very high to trees.

This is another advantage when swarm leavess. Under half a hour it returns to the hive.
 

ainsie 

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Hi MrB, a colony normally swarms on the first fine day after the first queen cell is capped ie 8 days after being laid, clipping the queen buys some time as the bees swarm after the first virgin emerges ie. 16 days.That is my understanding anyway.Hope this helps.
 

Finman 

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When it is swarming season, and you see queen cells in the hive, it is better to make false swarm at once. Don't calculate days.

Often I see that the hive has queen cells and no young larvae or eggs, so the clippd queen has gone but bees are all at home. So it has tried to swarm.

Swarm may go without any warning if the hive is full of honey.

If you succeeded to catch the laying queen, it continues brood production for later yield.

If I am present and swarm leaves the hive, mostly I find the queen very near the hive. Bees do not follow the queen but queen must follow the swarm. Bees abondon the queen if she cannot fly.

.
 
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Clipping does not stop the bees swarming. They will still swarm but as Finman says, they will return about 20 minutes later. However, unless you are very lucky the queen will be lost and they will simply wait for one of the new queens to emerge and follow her out of the door. So they swarm as originally planned and this time you lose most of your honey gathering bees.

As has often been said there is not much you can do to stop them swarming once they decide to go. This is why the artifical swarm is practised - it tricks the bees into thinking they have swarmed.
 

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