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Haughton Honey 

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Please add to this thread if you lose a swarm so that the forum can keep tabs on the swarm season and any 'odd' goings on, such as swarming ahead of a QC being capped or swarming shortly after a queen starts laying.

Useful information might be:

1. The strain of bee that you have.

2. What the colony was housed in (type of hive, number of brood boxes and supers, amount of free space etc)

3. When the colony was last inspected prior to the swarm.

4. Number of QCs left behind.

5. Age of queen if a supercedure.

6. Your location.
 

taff.. 

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I'll go first then, I'm not shy :)


1. The strain of bee that you have.

Dark coloured mongrels

2. What the colony was housed in (type of hive, number of brood boxes and supers, amount of free space etc)

National brood, 1 frame brood 4 foundation.

3. When the colony was last inspected prior to the swarm.

Artificial swarm carried out 7 days previously, I must have missed the QC on the frame that I transfered. :(

4. Number of QCs left behind.

1 capped, 2.. or was it 3????? uncapped, can't quite remember.


5. Age of queen if a supercedure.

N/A

6. Your location.

Somerset
 

Bcrazy 

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Will someone tell me what all this is for?

I did not have any swarms this year as I carried out swarm prevention methods on hives that placed larvae in queen cups.

To my way of thinking if you allow your bees to swarm you are causing a nuisance to the public as many people that see thousands of bees flying react differently, to the majority it's a frightening experience.
They do not have the knowledge that we have regarding swarms.

Losing 50% of your foraging force is well................think about it.

Regards;

all the above tells me is that taff missed a queen cell, so what?
 

Heather 

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Well said. Bcrazy. Neglectful beekeepers are a nuisance- but we would love to be so perfect or as proficient.

I check my hives very regularly as they are in my garden surrounded by neighbours -but queen cells do seem to creep up on me :ack2:.

My original 6 hives have been split to stop their determination to swarm - only once I realised that an advanced cell was still there after I allegedly had removed them all and as I prepare a hive to split the - they roared out of the hive behind my back!!!
I got them back as they settled in a tree 30' above me.

But some numpty near my home lost a huge prime last week- it filled 11 frames, she is laying well and I had to put a super on within 7 days- I am keeping that one. :cheers2: (But to give him/her some credit- the varroa drop is low)

Can you give me some idea what pros and cons you use on reuniting these colonies. I have ended up with more hives than I want and less honey due to this splitting. I want them strong- but not swarmy. I use deep 14x12 brood.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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Personally I think more casts issue than one would expect ....
 

jon 

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I have dark coloured "native type" bees although there could be anything in the mix. Each colony is in a single brood national apart from one which is in a double brood. I haven't lost any swarms either apart from one nuc which absconded.
I check every 6-8 days and artificially swarm the colony if I see a charged queen cell.
The problem at the moment is that colonies I split in may are making swarm cells again and I don't really want to split again.
I am seeing some of the problems RP has been highlighting such as swarm or supersedure cells appearing in colonies headed by new queens.
I also had at least 2 nucs swarm with a virgin queen which shouldn't happen.
Another couple of virgin queens went awol so it is possible there were very small swarms I missed with just a cupful of bees.
Swarm control can be tricky, especially for new beekeepers and a lot of the new beekeepers seem to start out with Carnica which is very prolific and hard to keep in the box.
 

jon 

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Personally I think more casts issue than one would expect ....
If you don't remove queen cells, and you don't them remove the emergency queen cells produced by checking 4 or 5 days later you could easily get half a dozen casts off a big colony.
 

taff.. 

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Will someone tell me what all this is for?

I did not have any swarms this year as I carried out swarm prevention methods on hives that placed larvae in queen cups.

Its called learning from experience, I think I know what I did wrong and wont do it again, hopefully someone else wont as a result of reading this thread.

would you rather mistakes are not discussed so they carry on happening.


the tone of your post is a little bit 'I'm better than you because I didn't lose a swarm' and isn't helpfull in open discussion. ;)
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi taff

the tone of your post is a little bit 'I'm better than you because I didn't lose a swarm' and isn't helpful in open discussion
I am sorry if I offended anyone by my comments, it was certainly not my intention.
I do not profess to be better than anyone else, and nor would I.

When I see some of the handling of bees and how beekeepers carry out manipulations its no wonder there are swarms. Unfortunately the education of beekeepers stops after the initial course. Many attend classes for improvers etc. but then on returning to their own hives drop back into "it's easier this way, or I have not got the time to do a proper inspection".

Regards;
 

taff.. 

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Hi taff



I am sorry if I offended anyone by my comments, it was certainly not my intention.
I do not profess to be better than anyone else, and nor would I.

When I see some of the handling of bees and how beekeepers carry out manipulations its no wonder there are swarms. Unfortunately the education of beekeepers stops after the initial course. Many attend classes for improvers etc. but then on returning to their own hives drop back into "it's easier this way, or I have not got the time to do a proper inspection".

Regards;
I'm not offended at all.

it is this education that threads like this help in addressing.

before I did the AS I was (wrongly) under the assumption that I could sit back and inspect in another 7 days, it turns out that Jon (IIRC) has posted many times 'go back and inspect in 4 days' to check if there is an unsealed cell on the frame.

I will certainly do this next year, lesson learnt :cheers2:


incidentally, I ran a dog agility competition on sunday, there were about 300 dogs and people at the venue, at about miday a great big swarm came flying overhead, its the first one I've seen and was quite an impressive sight.

only a handfull of people did anything other than look up and say 'Oooo, a swarm' :D
 

admin 

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LOL I know what you were thinking Taff,same as I would of been ;)
(Did I leave that empty swarm box in the car last week)..
 

taff.. 

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LOL I know what you were thinking Taff,same as I would of been ;)
(Did I leave that empty swarm box in the car last week)..
I was actually thinking

'what will happen here if the show manager goes running off after that lot?

Err, I had best not' :(
 

Brosville 

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acting purely, of course, as "devils advocate", I am somewhat at a loss to understand the horror at producing a swarm.......
Worry by the public is ignorance that can be countered by education - we have had headlines about losses of bees for years, swarms are a very natural way of increasing numbers....... SO, if you've done everything you feel reasonable to avert swarming, and it still happens, surely you've either donated more bees to another beekeeer (perhaps an impecunious newbie), or added to the feral stocks, who if they survive will help overcome things such as varroa themselves by "survival of the fittest", and being away from chemical blanket-bombing will not increase chemically resistant pests..
Could an argument not be made that you are actually performing a service to both man and bee-kind in allowing the odd swarm to ping off into the world?
 

Heather 

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I have collected a few from surrounding areas, and all callers have said- 'I know how precious the bees are so wont ring the Council in case they destroy'- they were not scared, just wary,and all have been interested parties wanting to learn more- so quite satisfying to collect like that - and all but 1 were casts. Have kept them and all queens now laying well. Now gone to beekeepers wanting to expand.
 

jon 

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before I did the AS I was (wrongly) under the assumption that I could sit back and inspect in another 7 days, it turns out that Jon (IIRC) has posted many times 'go back and inspect in 4 days' to check if there is an unsealed cell on the frame.
taff:
bees have an amazing capacity to make queen cells.
I removed a queen and most of the brood from a colony to make up a nuc and I left them with a patch of brood which had eggs on the outside. When I checked a week later they had built about 30 emergency cells.

You need to keep the mathematics in mind.

If there is a new laid egg in a colony they can still make a queen out of it up to 5 days later, or even 6 if they are absolutely desperate and that will be a scrub queen which will be very small and probably useless.

I suspect I am going to lose a swarm one of these days as I am finding so many queen cells i can hardly keep up.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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>If you don't remove queen cells, and you don't them remove the emergency queen cells produced by checking 4 or 5 days later you could easily get half a dozen casts off a big colony.

This is true and you'd be suprised how many emergency queen cells can "appear" after 4-5 days. Sometimes it takes longer for the bees to float out larvae and make emergency cells, especially if they've picked young larvae to raise emergency queens from. Also, some emergency queen cells can appear as dimples on the comb. You have to shake all the bees off the comb and check for emergency cells.

No matter how good you are, some emergency cells will be missed..
 

jon 

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>Also, some emergency queen cells can appear as dimples on the comb.
That's true. Some of them look like little more than drone brood in a worker cell although they are more rounded and a little wider than a drone brood cell. If in doubt, take it out.
 

Nopants 

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Please add to this thread if you lose a swarm so that the forum can keep tabs on the swarm season and any 'odd' goings on, such as swarming ahead of a QC being capped or swarming shortly after a queen starts laying.

Useful information might be:

1. The strain of bee that you have.

2. What the colony was housed in (type of hive, number of brood boxes and supers, amount of free space etc)

3. When the colony was last inspected prior to the swarm.

4. Number of QCs left behind.

5. Age of queen if a supercedure.

6. Your location.
1 Carnolian queen bee from slovinia came from a guy in Liverpool

2 I did a split in June and got a new 2009 queen. I hived them 3 weeks ago and have 5 frames of space left! Last inspected Wedneday last week no cells seen then.

3 Queen is this years 2009

4 3 qeen cells left behind

5 North Bedfordshire bordering Northants... Certainly didnt expect them to do this so early with so much space!!
 

admin 

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1 Carnolian queen bee from slovinia came from a guy in Liverpool
That sounds like Bickerstaffes,not sure if Easybee use the same supplier in Slovenia..
 

Nopants 

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Well Im Miffed as to why they swarmed as not many bees in the hive. May be they wanted vertical space or didnt like the foundation to work on....
 

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