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Is there anyone on here that doesn't bother with swarm control?

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Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
Having read quite a few articles on bee keeping during the earlier part of the last century and the later part of the 19th century it appears that a few generations ago many wise old 'beeks' didn't bother with any form of swarm control and just accepted that they'd lose a few during the earlier part of the season....either letting them go, capturing the culprits using bait boxes or perhaps recovering them from the branches or nearby trees if they were spotted.

I'm intrigued to know if anyone on here with any number of hives doesn't bother with swarm control or perhaps knows of any old hands in their area that still don't?
 

oliver90owner 

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A lot needed swarms for skeps (sulphur pit treatment).

Skeps were not renowned for ease of swarm control!

Probably fell out of favour after IoW disease reduced the colony count!

In hindsight, perhaps these 'wise' old beekeepers were not so wise after all, if they simply let part of their honey crop fly away!

Not sure from your post whether these 'few generations ago' is counted from now or from the era of the books you read back then!

Maybe they were satisfied that the young queen would be unlikely to swarm late in the season, so the old queen was not so important, if lost.

Not so built-up as Britain today, so not so much neighbour consideration.

People (non-beeks) in those days probably accepted swarming as a natural process - not like the masses are these days, who are likely to dial 999 thinking they were being attacked!!

So loads of reasons these days to practise swarm control, so there should be only a very, very few who do not. Times are so different that I know of none that carry on beekeeping activities, like those you describe.

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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I did yes once.

A gentleman who lived at Dinnet which is between Aboyne and Ballater on Royal Deeside.

He had 100 Glen hives (15 frame brood box Nat) and the bees flew over the Dee to forage in the heather on the far bank.

On his ground he had a tree and on one of the branches the swarms landed. He thought most of them landed there but had a few bait hives around to be sure.

He produced some 3tons of Heather Honey per annum and sold it to Fortnum and Mason.

The bees were fed usually until early July when the bell began to flow.

PH
 

mbc 

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Only swarm control I do is nicking a few frames of brood and bees from the strong ones for the q rearing side of things, and maybe some artificial swarms if I happen to look in as theyre building cells. I lose some, gain some and have alot more time for fishing !
Having said that, whats mentioned above is fairly effective swarm control allied with putting empty box's on before a flow
 

VEG 

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I know of one beekeeper who does no swarm control, but he lives near some woods with no other houses near. He keeps about 25 colonies.
 

ian 

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Hi Veg

Can I suggest a few bait hives on the other side of the woods.............bee-smillie
 

Cazza 

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My beekeeping mentor (now deceased) practiced no swarm control. He relied on bait hives, keeping about 6 hives. He usually hived around 3 swarms a year, having used this practice from the 40's until 2005, when I took over and "modernised" things.
It worked well for him but this was in a very rural area.
Cazza
 

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