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International Beekeeper of Mystery
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Mar 30, 2011
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This may be of use

Most methods of swarm prevention are a reactive measure – managing the colony and trying to stop them swarming after the bees have decided to go and you have found a queen cell or cells. The Demarree method though is a proactive or preemptive method of swarm avoidance, namely taking an action before they decide to go.
The method works if you do it when the colony is 'thinking about' swarming ie when it's on eight or more frames of brood (I often do it on seven), plenty of drones, flow started and loads of bees - the odd play cup starting but not queen cells Charged, with just royal jelly or eggs although you may get away with it if there are only one or two in the early stages.
George Demarree’s original plan was to separate the queen from all the brood but to keep everything in the one hive, he did this by having the queen in an empty brood box with just foundation at the floor of the hive separated from the supers by a queen excluder, and all the brood in another box right at the top that method still holds good although I do like leaving a few frames of drawn comb with the queen so that she doesn’t have to put laying on hold until fresh comb is drawn, I also add an entrance at the top.
This is also a good way to make increase as the young bees in the top brood box, being separated from the queen will make queen cells, not always, and not many but good queen cells as they are not panic driven emergency queen cells but more akin to carefully prepared supersedure cells as, although they are separated from the queen, they can still get some weak queen pheromone so they think the queen is failing but have plenty of time to prepare a replacement.
Find the queen, remove her with the frame of brood she's on and put into a new brood box filled with drawn comb and foundation (as much drawn as you can spare) - the queen on her frame in the middle of the comb. you can put another frame of brood in as well, preferably with emerging brood.
Take the original brood box with the rest of the brood in and put to one side for a moment, put the box with the queen in it's place - this now becomes the bottom box.
Put QX on and then one,preferably two (or more) supers.
The next part is optional but good practice In my opinion, put on another QX then a shallow eke with a one inch entrance (eke only needs to be 8 to 10 mm high) or a demarree board - simple to make, think a crownboard with a three by four inch square cut out the middle or to the back of the board opposite the entrance with a piece of plastic or galv QX fixed over it, beespace rim underneath as per normal then another 10mm rim on top with an entrance gap in (this becomes the 'floor' of the top box)
Lastly goes the brood box with nothing but brood in topped with a crownboard then roof.
You can carry on adding supers between the two broods if there is a flow on, but I would just add additional supers on top of the top BB (but still keep 2 or three between the broods) the bees will fill the vacated brood frames in the top box if you let them
If you cannot find the queen you can always take each frame of brood out of the brood box, shake off all the bees and put them all (apart from one or two) in a new BB which becomes your top BB - rebuild the hive as per above, enough nurse bees will migrate to the top box through the QX leaving the queen in the bottom on her frame or two of brood and drawn comb/foundation.

The next part is the swarm control part:
Go in to the top box after four or five days (no more) and take down any QC's they have made - repeat this in a few days again until they no longer have the material to make QC's. Although, to be honest, after using the system for some time I have observed that they seldom draw QC’s from older larvae and nowadays I just check on day 7 But on day 7 and no later.
Carry on regular inspections of the bottom BB you can, each time remove a frame or two of capped brood from the Q+ box and put it in the top box replacing them with frames from the top box where the brood has all emerged. You can keep on doing this until 'swarming fever' has passed.

If your plan was to make some nucs up then go into the top box three or four days after the Demarree and take down any sealed QC's (these will be from older larvae so not so good) but as I said, by now I seldom find QC’s drawn from older larvae so don’t find this so important, but as this part is for making increase not swarm control, it’s good to check, or, open bang on day 7 to find an open but ready to seal QC and select the QC's you want to keep, do the split(s) or then go back in after day eight when they are sealed. You can either split the whole box into two or three nucs, take two or three frames out to make one nuc up and carry on with the demarree or harvest the QC's to put into mini nucs.
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