Get rid of swarming impulse when in a Demaree configuration

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Jon.21

House Bee
Joined
Aug 13, 2021
Messages
135
Reaction score
64
Location
Derby, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
In my 4th year of beekeeping and still iterating to a solution that works for me to maintain around 4 colonies.

Last year I successfully used the pre emptive demaree to maintain and not increase the number of colonies I have (4off colonies). Ended up doing 3off demaree last year. This year I have taken the same approach but have ended up with 2 colonies this week that have decided on the 2nd week into the 2nd demaree of the year to produce a significant number of swarm cells. Note My approach to the demaree is to not rotate frames each week but to just effectively swap the top and bottom boxes over every 3 weeks placing the queen in the bottom box on a frame of brood.

it seems the advice in this situation is to do a split to get rid of the swarming impulse and then either recombine at a later date or keep the 2 colonies produced. . As I dont have any more space to do this I was wondering whether I could knock all the swarm cells down in the bottom box then put the queen in the top box on a single frame of brood with all other frames in the top box empty. The bottom box would have the remaining brood frames and then after a week knock any queen cells down to make the bottom box hopelessly queenless. Then a couple of weeks (all brood in bottom box now emerged) later put the queen down in the bottom box.on a single frame of brood.
Note the configuration would be working bottom to top - floor, 14x12 brood box , qe, minimum 4off supers, qe, 14x12 brood box , crown board, roof.

My thinking is the queen would have plenty of space and be far enough a way from the brood box in the bottom so effectively split the colonies.

Thought ? Has anyone tried this / does this ? Would this remove the swarming impulse ?
Cheers
Jon
 
In my 4th year of beekeeping and still iterating to a solution that works for me to maintain around 4 colonies.

Last year I successfully used the pre emptive demaree to maintain and not increase the number of colonies I have (4off colonies). Ended up doing 3off demaree last year. This year I have taken the same approach but have ended up with 2 colonies this week that have decided on the 2nd week into the 2nd demaree of the year to produce a significant number of swarm cells. Note My approach to the demaree is to not rotate frames each week but to just effectively swap the top and bottom boxes over every 3 weeks placing the queen in the bottom box on a frame of brood.

it seems the advice in this situation is to do a split to get rid of the swarming impulse and then either recombine at a later date or keep the 2 colonies produced. . As I dont have any more space to do this I was wondering whether I could knock all the swarm cells down in the bottom box then put the queen in the top box on a single frame of brood with all other frames in the top box empty. The bottom box would have the remaining brood frames and then after a week knock any queen cells down to make the bottom box hopelessly queenless. Then a couple of weeks (all brood in bottom box now emerged) later put the queen down in the bottom box.on a single frame of brood.
Note the configuration would be working bottom to top - floor, 14x12 brood box , qe, minimum 4off supers, qe, 14x12 brood box , crown board, roof.

My thinking is the queen would have plenty of space and be far enough a way from the brood box in the bottom so effectively split the colonies.

Thought ? Has anyone tried this / does this ? Would this remove the swarming impulse ?
Cheers
Jon
Wouldn't a vertical split be easier? Then unite once the new queen is laying.
 
Thanks. How would that work ?
Queen on one or two frames in the bottom box, maybe a super or two over it, then a solid board with an entrance above it (the entrance at 90 or 180 degrees from the bottom box), then the rest of the brood with a queen cell if you already have one, the rest of the supers on top. The flying bees will return to the bottom box where the queen is as an artificial swarm.
Let the top box rear a new queen, going in after a week to remove extra EQCs. Once she is mated and laying dispatch the lower older queen (or make a nuc with her) and unite the two hives with newspaper or air freshener.
This keeps them all in one stack of boxes if space is an issue.
 
Queen on one or two frames in the bottom box, maybe a super or two over it, then a solid board with an entrance above it (the entrance at 90 or 180 degrees from the bottom box), then the rest of the brood with a queen cell if you already have one, the rest of the supers on top. The flying bees will return to the bottom box where the queen is as an artificial swarm.
Let the top box rear a new queen, going in after a week to remove extra EQCs. Once she is mated and laying dispatch the lower older queen (or make a nuc with her) and unite the two hives with newspaper or air freshener.
This keeps them all in one stack of boxes if space is an issue.
Great thanks. Like the sound of that. Out of interest do you think my suggestion would work ?
 
And wouldn't it be better to change the variety of bee or find another beekeeper with a variety with less tendency to swarm?
75/50% in two consecutive years seems outrageous to me.
Furthermore, I understood that with 12*14" frames the trend was less compared to 8.5" single or double.
 
Last year I successfully used the pre emptive demaree
is there any other kind?
I have taken the same approach but have ended up with 2 colonies this week that have decided on the 2nd week into the 2nd demaree of the year to produce a significant number of swarm cells.
when did you start off the Demaree?
Note My approach to the demaree is to not rotate frames each week
George Demaree seldom did.
 
I meant at what stage of the colony's development (state of the colony, strength - any swarm preparations)
Apologies…..Colony was on around 8 frames of brood and 2 supers covering about 80 percent of the frames in the top super and no swarm prep I.e. no charged queen cells when I did the first demaree.
 
Apologies…..Colony was on around 8 frames of brood and 2 supers covering about 80 percent of the frames in the top super and no swarm prep I.e. no charged queen cells when I did the first demaree.
I can count on one finger the amount of times the bottom box has made swarm preparations after a Demaree, so I think your problem is this swapping of boxes around instead of just moving the occasional frame of brood upstairs. I think you are just constantly confusing the flying bees thus triggering them to swarm
 

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