- Jan 13, 2015
- Reaction score
- Bedfordshire, England
- Hive Type
- Number of Hives
- Quite a few
Since we don't know the age/condition of the laying queen, I thought my post was reasonable. There is a risk. It will be less of a risk in a young queen and more in a "mature" queen. There is also more risk if the colony is used as a "starter" too (e.g. with a Cloake board). If you watch Mike Palmers queen rearing videos, he does reassemble the starter as a finisher and use the colony to complete the cells to maturity but, I suspect, the queens are quite young (Please confirm Mike). I don't do it that way. I use a queenless colony that is dedicated to the purpose of cell raising - all the way until sealing (i.e. not starter/finisher), supplemented with frames of sealed worker brood from support colonies (which were moved above a queen excluder for 9 days to ensure that I am not adding open larvae). There is no risk in a system like this, but I am producing a lot more cells than I think Jeff wants.Unless the colony was making it's own decision to swarm this is very unlikely to happen, you can virtually never force a colony into throwing a swarm by adding cells at any stage of development.
For the beginner: risk is a continuum. It takes a lot of work to make a no risk cell raising system. You may not have the time/support colonies necessary, or even a need for the number of cells I produce. So, other methods may suit you best - but, you may also be introducing a little bit more risk - One risk I have just touched upon is the risk that a queen (either a virgin which has left her own nuc or a queen returning from a mating flight) flies into your cell raising colony. Sometimes, it feels like the bees are conspiring against you in this. They will happily accept any queen if you allow it. This can be a pain in the neck if you are working on a particular line. As the season progresses, the risk of this happening increases, particularly if your mating nucs are close together or your apiary has no landmarks to help the queen return to her own nuc.
risk = the probability of an event occurring
cost= the consequence of if it does.
In evaluating whether you need to take action to mitigate a risk, look at the output of risk * cost. The higher it becomes, the more important it is to manage the risk. I could talk all day about risk management (it used to be part of my job as a programme manager) but there are things you can do to manage risk:
Prevention - take whatever action is necessary to prevent the risk from occurring (often difficult and costly) risk =0
Reduction - take whatever action you can to reduce the risk to an acceptable level e.g. increase landmarks to aid navigation, space mating nucs further apart/alternate directions, etc. Risk tends to 0
Acceptance - accept the consequence should the risk become reality.
Contingency - take alternate action to provide an alternate in case the event should occur (e.g. produce more cells than you need, make multiple cell raisers, use different methods, etc)
Transference - transfer the risk to someone else e.g. insurance, buy rather than make, etc.