Help - Trying to avoid my usual mistakes

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davidparker999 

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Hi

I have been keeping bees rather unsuccessfully for the last 4 years.
I have two very healthy hives as below

1) extra deep langstroth brood - 4/5th full. Lots of young bees, lots of capped brood, little stores
Deep langstroth brood on top. Again 4/5th full. Lots of capped brood and uncapped again little stores. Plenty drone
Queen excluder
2 boxes of drawn super above with little activity.
Queen spotted
This hive has about 6 Queen cups between the 2 brood boxes. no eggs in the cups

2) extra deep langstroth brood
5 of 8 frames used with lots of capped and uncapped brood. Little stores.
deep langstroth brood above with undrawn frames. No activity
1 super drawn frames no activity
Queen not spotted but lots of eggs.
4 Queen cups with no eggs
Plenty of drone

bees are well behaved in both

it is about now that my troubles start with swarming followed by swarming and more swarming leaving me with not a lot of bees and zero honey.
this year I would love your advice on how to do better as from experience I really don’t seem to know what to do.
Thanks in advance

Dave
 

Murox 

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have read of this sticky Demaree . when you think you have read it twice and understood it have browse for the many other posts about the system, you may find it useful.

you already have queen cells? maybe an artificial swarm is needed.
 

hemo 

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Firstly sound like to much empty space above the brood box with nothing incoming to store. If I read correctly a BB & a super above QX'd BB. One expects even if poly hives any stores is being used for brood raising and heat.

For swarm control read up and stick to one or two methods.
Like quite a few on the forum I use two methods a Demaree or the Nucleus method with old Queen. As we can't be present when a swarm exits a hive, to prevent losing swarms clip queens and rehome the clustered swarm in a nuc.
With a clipped queen it doesn't prevent swarming but saves most from being lost altogether, if swarming is caught in the first few hours it is likely one will see the cluster on the ground or a very nearby bush at low level or on the ground. If a day or two has passed then there is a fair chance the cluster will have returned to the hive and can be found under the hive floor if there is access to it on an open stand.

The clipped queen if just one wing is done ( approx 1/4 or the wing tip) she will fall to the ground likely within 3 - 6 feet, if both wings are clipped by mistake then she may glide a little further away.
 
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pargyle 

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Firstly sound like to much empty space above the brood box with nothing incoming to store. If I read correctly a BB & a super above QX'd BB.
Agree ... far too much space for the state of brood in the colonies ... I'd get rid of the second brood boxes and perhaps even the supers ... wait until there are at least six or seven solid frames of brood before putting a super on and just put one at a time on - when they are halfway through filling the first be ready with the second.

You need to keep an eye on the play cups ... if they turn into queen cells you will need to A/S - another look in about three days time which might be problematical with the current weather forecast ! It will be easier with only one brood box to worry about.

Langstroths are big boxes ... it's not often you would find a colony capable of need two langstroth brood boxes ...
 

madasafish 

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6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
I run langstroth jumbos.
Only ever fill one box and I am 300 miles further South!

As above remove extra box, consolidate.
QE and one super at most.


Swarming - I would run nucleus system. Vertical splits on Lang jumbos ? Far tooooo much lifting- hernia time. (A full deep Lang box = 40 +Kgs..)
 

hemo 

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David if you find queen cells don't panic, certainly don't remove QC's until you know the colony status.
Is the colony QR (queen right) or has it actually swarmed ?

Have spare equipment with you to to carry out manipulations.
If QR decide on splitting a colony, is it staying in the same apiary or being moved much further a field.
If in the same apiary make sure the queen and a frame of bees are placed in a new hive or nuc on the same spot so that any forager and flying bees re-join her.
Move the other QL part (queenless) with QC's carefully to a new location (can be in the same apiary), and reduce QC's down to one or two nice open cells with larvae. Make sure the colony with no queen has food as foragers will return to the queen on original site.

By doing the above you will have performed an artificial swarm and split a colony with Qu & flying bees in one half and younger house bees in the other half to raise a new queen.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Hi

I have been keeping bees rather unsuccessfully for the last 4 years.
I have two very healthy hives as below

1) extra deep langstroth brood - 4/5th full. Lots of young bees, lots of capped brood, little stores
Deep langstroth brood on top. Again 4/5th full. Lots of capped brood and uncapped again little stores. Plenty drone
Queen excluder
2 boxes of drawn super above with little activity.
Queen spotted
This hive has about 6 Queen cups between the 2 brood boxes. no eggs in the cups

2) extra deep langstroth brood
5 of 8 frames used with lots of capped and uncapped brood. Little stores.
deep langstroth brood above with undrawn frames. No activity
1 super drawn frames no activity
Queen not spotted but lots of eggs.
4 Queen cups with no eggs
Plenty of drone

bees are well behaved in both

it is about now that my troubles start with swarming followed by swarming and more swarming leaving me with not a lot of bees and zero honey.
this year I would love your advice on how to do better as from experience I really don’t seem to know what to do.
Thanks in advance

Dave
Your information says you joined the forum in 2017. There have been a number of discussions about anti swarming methods since that time but I'd suggest a search for Wally Shaws WBKA leaflet There are Queen Cells in my hive What shall I do.
Swarm control methods are also currently under discussion in the BBKA newsletter. Reading up on these sources might save a lot of angst.👍
 

davidparker999 

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Thank you everyone.
Both hives have queens present.
One of my errors was that I assumed more space would stop swarming.
If I am to reduce to one brood box on my busy hive, how would I do this?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Thank you everyone.
Both hives have queens present.
One of my errors was that I assumed more space would stop swarming.
If I am to reduce to one brood box on my busy hive, how would I do this?
Make sure the queen is in the bottom box. Put a QX between the two brood boxes then take the top one away when the brood has emerged. I would be tempted to cut an entrance in the QX to enable emerged drones to escape. Either that or take the roof off every day for a few minutes
 

enrico 

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Thank you everyone.
Both hives have queens present.
One of my errors was that I assumed more space would stop swarming.
If I am to reduce to one brood box on my busy hive, how would I do this?
Or take frames without brood out of one and replace them with the frames with brood from the other.
Just giving bees room does not stop them swarming. They are like teenagers, they want to reproduce and swarming is reproducing!
I have half brood boxes on the top of full size brood boxes. This happened because it has been too cold to look inside. I am waiting for them to fill the top half box with honey and move downwards back into the brood box. At that point I will remove the half brood like a normal super. Or at least that is the intention!!!!!
 

pargyle 

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Thank you everyone.
Both hives have queens present.
One of my errors was that I assumed more space would stop swarming.
If I am to reduce to one brood box on my busy hive, how would I do this?
If there is brood in the top box then get all the frames with brood into the bottom box ... put a clearer board between the bottom and top box for a day and that will clear the majority of bees out of the top of the hive (much kinder than shaking them out in this cold weather) and then it's a quick job to remove the clearer board, drop a QE in place and put your super on. Should only take a minute or two ... The best clearers are the rhombus type if you have them ... porter escapes can get blocked if there are drones.
 

Finman 

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As far as I understand, you have in Britain chilly weathers.

Don't arrange your brood frames anywhere. Let the bees keep their brood frames where they are. However you are not getting honey now. Just look, that hives will not become crowded.

Bad weather add swarming. Inspect queen cells weekly.
 

Erichalfbee 

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If there is brood in the top box then get all the frames with brood into the bottom box ...
Doesn’t this hive have brood in different size boxes?
 

Erichalfbee 

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they do. A jumbo and an extra jumbo.
clearer board it will be.
Yes so you can’t move brood frames from one to the other.so you can’t consolidate the brood nest into one box as pargyle suggested.
 

pargyle 

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Yes so you can’t move brood frames from one to the other.so you can’t consolidate the brood nest into one box as pargyle suggested.
Well - you can but he will have to use the extra deep as the bottom box and accept there will be some shorter frames amongst the extra deep ones ... and store the extra deep ones he takes out for the time being ...I still think there's too much space in the boxes he has at present.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Or take frames without brood out of one and replace them with the frames with brood from the other.
Just giving bees room does not stop them swarming. They are like teenagers, they want to reproduce and swarming is reproducing!
I have half brood boxes on the top of full size brood boxes. This happened because it has been too cold to look inside. I am waiting for them to fill the top half box with honey and move downwards back into the brood box. At that point I will remove the half brood like a normal super. Or at least that is the intention!!!!!
As a teenager reproduction wasn't one of my ambitions even if practicing the method and technique was 🤔😎
 
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