shook swarm method to change to 14x12

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House Bee
Apr 16, 2009
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uk, Abingdon
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This link was given by Finman in one thread long time ago.

At the end of the article it mentions the shook swarm method but they put the old brood box with brood on the top of the new BB and QE between.
So as the brood emerges they will fill it with honey. if i use 14x12 as new brood box and leave the old standard for honey, will it work? and afterwards will change the bb for supers, extract the honey, fit the eke and have another 14x12 box ready.
will kill to flies with one slap then - swarming issue and change over. Thoughts?

The link seems to be broken; file not found.

Not certain of the detail in the document, but if you do a shook swarm into a 14x12 box they will draw out the wax and go great guns, but if you drop them into the box and then with a QX and the brood above, they will surely move up to be with the brood, with a risk of stranding the queen below the QX. It's no longer a shook swarm :)

If you do a shook swarm and let them get on with it, all well and good, but to put the brood over another box of bees with a QX, is there a sufficiency of bees in that box to look after their own brood and all the brood from the original box? it could be that the brood needs to be shared between a number of other colonies in order that there is sufficient house bees to do the job effectively without over extending them..

I'm sure that others will be able to comment more effectively than myself on this though. :)
my thoughts are, why be the cause of potential stress by shaking the bees off the frames if you are not going to take away the old frames there and then.

why not just plonk the 14x12 box above the national and let them move up on their own?

a week later pop the Qx on between the 14x12 and the national to keep the queen in the 14x12 box, 3 or 4 weeks later you should be able to take the national box away empty of brood.

that seems a much gentler way of doing the same thing to me.
One very large plus with a 'shook swarm' is that most of the varroa are removed from the colony (in the brood) and with no brood the rest of the varroa can be attacked before capped brood is available for the remaining mites to 'dive off into' for protection and reproduction. Leaving the box of brood there will negate any advantages of the shook swarm procedure as the mites will still be there and any disease spores in the old brood comb will still be there.

If looking for another 14 x 12 brood box to be available, I would suggest making one or aquiring another used standard brood - much quicker, even if a low quality one, just for this sort of purpose. You will need more boxes anyway, if you are short now!

Regards, RAB
I agree with Taff no point doing the shook swarm if you dont intend on removing the old frames immediately after shaking the bees off. If you are converting from standard to 14 x 12 then follow Taffs recommendations.
thanks, so what is the best time to chuck the 14x12 on top of the old national?
I'll be doing mine when I re-arrange the hives in the apiary at first inspection, within the next few weeks, up to maybe a months time. all dependent on the weather.

they are flying pretty strongly today :)

Just to brush up, that would be a Baily comb change I guess? :)
If you do a shook swarm, place one comb of unsealed brood in the (new) brood chamber. After a week remove the now sealed brood. Varroa from the shook bees will now be inside.
hey presto - most of the varroa gone.

However, as the queen has little space in which to lay - before the new comb has been drawn, there is more chance of a swarm cell in that old comb so it definitely needs to be removed.

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