Demeree Question

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markb2603

House Bee
Joined
Apr 23, 2022
Messages
109
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44
Location
Donegal, Ireland
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
4
I’ve been reading up on the Demeree methodology for swarm prevention - thanks to JBM for the useful blog post.

Could this method be used to split a strong colony into 2? If you were doing this, would you still complete the Demeree as described or would you potentially split the brood box 2 with half brood and stores and half empty frames in each BB? Would you then wait for the new queen in the top box to start laying before removing and setting up a new hive or should that be done earlier?

The other option is a walk away split.

Lost a swarm already this season and second hive had brood over 7 frames when checked on Monday so want to potentially take preventative action this weekend if they continue to strengthen.

Thanks in advance as always.
 
Do the Demarree as per my description, all the brood in the top box (this will cool down the swarming fever of the colony) you can then even leave them make their new queen in the top box and just split the colony once she's mated and laying (you can then give her a bit more brood from the bottom box to boost them when you split) at least then, if the queen is a dud you can reunite them if needs be.
You could even, once there are QCs in the top box, make two or three nucs out of it and leave the bottom box build up again.
 
I'm keen to try Demaree on some colonies this year. I'm finding it difficult to judge when the time is right. Although the outside temperatures are lowish just now, hives are warm inside and brood is building up. I guess if there's 7 plus frames of brood, I should go ahead. Temperatures are a bit low, but in the sun and out of the wind it should be okay. Thoughts?
 
I'm keen to try Demaree on some colonies this year. I'm finding it difficult to judge when the time is right. Although the outside temperatures are lowish just now, hives are warm inside and brood is building up. I guess if there's 7 plus frames of brood, I should go ahead. Temperatures are a bit low, but in the sun and out of the wind it should be okay. Thoughts?
it's whenever the colony is ready - regardless of the temperature. If I'd had the kit in the truck, I would probably have done two this afternoon - even though it's still a bit nippy under the castle.
 
All of the descriptions of the Demaree say it's important to knock down any QCs from the top box or they may swarm.
I want to make increase so what are my options?
If I were to make a Demaree board with a 4"*4" square of qe and an entrance to the upper box could I just leave them to get on with it and make a new queen up top without the whole lot swarming?

What about casts if there are several virgins?

Does the Demaree board sit atop the supers in place of the upper qe?

Should I just leave one QC in the top and knock down the older ones?

Sorry for all of the questions I've no decent mentor this year (he recons anything other than making up a nuc with QCs doesn't work and is too much trouble (more like he never tried anything different).
 
All of the descriptions of the Demaree say it's important to knock down any QCs from the top box or they may swarm.
Doubtful it's all - just the ones you've read, and if so, they don't know what they're talking about. To be honest, many of the descriptions of Demarre online (Including at least one 'reputable' BKA) demonstrate that they don't really have a clue how to work a proper Demarree
I have some Demarrees every year that have QCs left in (intentionally or otherwise) and I have yet to see a single one swarm, but that leave me a hive with two queens in, co existing happily (one in the top, one in the bottom)
If I were to make a Demaree board with a 4"*4" square of qe and an entrance to the upper box could I just leave them to get on with it and make a new queen up top without the whole lot swarming?
yes
What about casts if there are several virgins?
you seldom get more than a few QCs in a Demarree as you've induced supersedure not emergency QC building - if you are managing it to raise a queen in the top box, just reduce the QCs to one good one
 
I can only tell you what i do. Pls bear with me . . I run colonies on national two x 8 standard frames so 16 frames in total. Corex block in space.
In Late Feb/March i remove the bottom box and make top box bottom, new box on top and feed - 50% comb change.

This year 3 did not have this done, last weekend i visited and all three had brood over 10+ frames to me that is the magic number (this includes one drone comb foundation per 8). At this point I vertically split the colonies, i put the queen in the bottom box, take out correx block, add three more foundation frames checkerboarded in. Ensure eggs are top box as well.

You are left with: Entrance forward, Brood with 11 frames and queen, QE, two supers, QE with entrance facing backwards, Brood.
Bottom box has a lot less bees in it as many are up top looking after brood and three frames to draw out keeping them busy.
Top box makes queen cells. Once sealed i leave one, harvest rest from good colonies to go to mating nucs. Queen all going well mates, drop bottom box down to give, Entrance front, Brood, QE Entrance Back, Brood, QE Supers. after one week flip entrance to front as easier to manage. Run as two queen hive, kill off bottom queen or split post flow new queen for winter. If Top queen does not mate then drop down and make to single colony in circa 6 weeks post main swarming season.
 
I can only tell you what i do. Pls bear with me . . I run colonies on national two x 8 standard frames so 16 frames in total. Corex block in space.
In Late Feb/March i remove the bottom box and make top box bottom, new box on top and feed - 50% comb change.

This year 3 did not have this done, last weekend i visited and all three had brood over 10+ frames to me that is the magic number (this includes one drone comb foundation per 8). At this point I vertically split the colonies, i put the queen in the bottom box, take out correx block, add three more foundation frames checkerboarded in. Ensure eggs are top box as well.

You are left with: Entrance forward, Brood with 11 frames and queen, QE, two supers, QE with entrance facing backwards, Brood.
Bottom box has a lot less bees in it as many are up top looking after brood and three frames to draw out keeping them busy.
Top box makes queen cells. Once sealed i leave one, harvest rest from good colonies to go to mating nucs. Queen all going well mates, drop bottom box down to give, Entrance front, Brood, QE Entrance Back, Brood, QE Supers. after one week flip entrance to front as easier to manage. Run as two queen hive, kill off bottom queen or split post flow new queen for winter. If Top queen does not mate then drop down and make to single colony in circa 6 weeks post main swarming season.
...sounds quite straightforward and intuitive. ;)
 
...sounds quite straightforward and intuitive. ;)
😳 I think I'll chew over it.
On another note..
My ex mentor (I use him as casual labour occasionally on jobs) said on way to work this morning that after a queen cell is sealed I don't need to go in for another week and that if there's more than one virgin about to hatch the oldest one will start "peeping" "pip pip pip" so the workers know she's the one.
Sounds like bullpoop to me.
I just nodded and carried on driving. Glad I have proper advice here, it's not his fault his dad taught him when he was a nipper lol
 
😳 I think I'll chew over it.
On another note..
My ex mentor (I use him as casual labour occasionally on jobs) said on way to work this morning that after a queen cell is sealed I don't need to go in for another week and that if there's more than one virgin about to hatch the oldest one will start "peeping" "pip pip pip" so the workers know she's the one.
Sounds like bullpoop to me.
I just nodded and carried on driving. Glad I have proper advice here, it's not his fault his dad taught him when he was a nipper lol

In my frst year I read all about piping and picked up the (wrong, as it happened) message that the bees would sort out multiple queen cells. They didn't, and I ended up chasing multiple swarms and moving up to multiple beehives in very quick order.
Despite that duff advice and the confusion caused in those early days, I'm now pleased it all happened as I learned a lot by default and the multiple colonies gave me the benefit of some wiggle-room and confidence in case my hamfisted beekeeping had resulted in losses.
As it happens, my bees seem to have a zest for life and I'm facing my fourth year with ten mature colonies and a tiny bit more confidence that I know what I'm doing.
 
that after a queen cell is sealed I don't need to go in for another week
if it's the only QC, there's no other reason to go in, in fact, there is no reason to go in for (in my opinion) at least four weeks after it is sealed.
Sounds like bullpoop to me.
you're learning fast!
 
😳 I think I'll chew over it.
On another note..
My ex mentor (I use him as casual labour occasionally on jobs) said on way to work this morning that after a queen cell is sealed I don't need to go in for another week and that if there's more than one virgin about to hatch the oldest one will start "peeping" "pip pip pip" so the workers know she's the one.
Sounds like bullpoop to me.
I just nodded and carried on driving. Glad I have proper advice here, it's not his fault his dad taught him when he was a nipper lol
Okay hang on here. If you see one queen cell look for others, as often there may be many and then the first queen out will not always kill off the others often you wil get castes instead then another and another.

Personally if the colony is reasonable what I do is queen cell harvesting. Open hive if i see a sealed queen cell good chance main swarm has gone. i look for other queen cells, might leave one sealed one open at most but often just one good one open. I then harvest all other sealed queen cells - the piping is correct it keeps the other queens in the cells so many a time after harvesting i have had queen cells hatching out in my hand or where i put them so have spare queen cages handy. Then i make up mating nucs and put the protected queen cells in there, this way if the main hive queen does not make i have back up, you could also must make up one or two spare nucs with two frames looks up roger patterson two frame nuc he has written on this.
 
I can only tell you what i do. Pls bear with me . . I run colonies on national two x 8 standard frames so 16 frames in total. Corex block in space.
I've read all this carefully and I'm getting there. But I'm not clear about the phrase 'Correx block in place'. (I know what Correx is!)
 
Ok, I've read Roger Patterson's piece on Dave Cushman's site.
The method looks like something I'd like to try as he recons he can get as many as 10 new colonies strong enough to get through the winter from one parent hive.
I'm a bit further north than he and obviously nowhere near as experienced so if I could get 2 or 3 this season and a bit of a honey crop from my hive I'll be a happy bunny.
Like James has just done I panicked and ended up shaking the frames into the new hive to make sure the queen was in there then split the brood over a QEx and allowed the nurse bees to move up before splitting the queen and a couple of frames away.
I left the Q+ part on the stand and moved the brood and nurse bees to the side.
My plan was/ is to move the brood over to the other side of the stand about 3m away (a la pagden) to strengthen the Q+ part with flying bees.
Once everything has settled and I have some QCs to play with I'll try a 2 frame off the brood box and a Demaree when it gets a bit warmer if the colony is in good shape and full up.
 
I've read all this carefully and I'm getting there. But I'm not clear about the phrase 'Correx block in place'. (I know what Correx is!)
As the person said not about Demaree, it is about how i keep my bees overall in that i have 8 frames in each national box not 11. To fill the space i cut a piece of correx, cover in gaffa tape and drop it in.. when i do a demaree in the bottom box i take it out, add three frames of foundation checkerboarded in i.e. every other frame so the queen and bees in the bottom box have something to do, space to expand into and queens love to lay in newly drawn foundation.
 
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