Shook Swarm

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

eddiespangle 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
160
Reaction score
0
Location
Gillingham, Kent
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
I want to start using commercial hives rather than nationals. I've converted a brood box with a Hamilton Converter but I'm unsure how to physically transfer the colony. I was planning to use a shook swarm method but I'm unsure when to transfer the colony. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

Heather 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,102
Reaction score
101
Location
Newick, East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
15
I would suggest early April when the colony is flying well and good forage about- and before she has really settled to massive laying.
 

RoofTops 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,428
Reaction score
1
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
This still remains a controversial subject but I have become a strong supporter of the method. It isn't suitable I think for the far north but with the long season we have in the rest of the country it is very suitable and the bees do benefit enormously.

I have done them as early as late March but April is probably safer. Weather obviously plays a big part in deciding timing. Essentially, you can do it once there are enough new young bees to keep the colony going until the queen starts laying and the new brood emerges. Don't assume the AS on its own will reduce varroa - it does most of the time but I was seriously caught out this year with a colony that simply didn't expand as expected and the problem was varroa despite an AS being performed on them.

Worth transferring a frame of open brood to the new hive and once most of it is sealed taking it out and destroying it. This will mop up a lot of varroa. As you are changing frame sizes this will be a little more awkward so an alternative would be to give them a trickle of OA syrup about a week after the transfer.

Feed the bees with 1:1 syrup for the first couple of weeks.

Put a QX under the brood chamber to confine them until the queen starts laying eggs. Then remove it.
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,523
Reaction score
29
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
you could also do a bailey change later in the year, i would do it in full flow, perhaps when OSR flow is on


and welcome to the forum

if you do a shook swarm then i do late march in London micro climate, and the long range weather forecasts say spring may be early in 2011
 
Last edited:

johnandyrob 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
849
Reaction score
0
Location
Co. Durham
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
18
Could you not just put the newly converted national on top in a baily come change type of thing. There is some one in Durham that swears by shook swarms and has carried them out this far north for a few years now
 

eddiespangle 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
160
Reaction score
0
Location
Gillingham, Kent
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
This still remains a controversial subject but I have become a strong supporter of the method. It isn't suitable I think for the far north but with the long season we have in the rest of the country it is very suitable and the bees do benefit enormously.

I have done them as early as late March but April is probably safer. Weather obviously plays a big part in deciding timing. Essentially, you can do it once there are enough new young bees to keep the colony going until the queen starts laying and the new brood emerges. Don't assume the AS on its own will reduce varroa - it does most of the time but I was seriously caught out this year with a colony that simply didn't expand as expected and the problem was varroa despite an AS being performed on them.

Worth transferring a frame of open brood to the new hive and once most of it is sealed taking it out and destroying it. This will mop up a lot of varroa. As you are changing frame sizes this will be a little more awkward so an alternative would be to give them a trickle of OA syrup about a week after the transfer.

Feed the bees with 1:1 syrup for the first couple of weeks.

Put a QX under the brood chamber to confine them until the queen starts laying eggs. Then remove it.

Thanks. Sounds simple enough. What's AS?
 

fredbloggs 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
193
Reaction score
0
Location
Sarf London
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
Artificial swarm otherwise known as shook

Shaken not stirred (See still got it??)

FB
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
16,040
Reaction score
453
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Artificial swarm otherwise known as shook

A slip of the key, maybe. SS, it should have been. But you likely know the difference is much more than desribing them as the 'same thing'.

Any 'set dates' for SS are immaterial. Timings will depend on the season. When they are ready is the important thing. I think earlier the better, given they are fed a little or a lot as the situation demands. It would appear you are only changing one colony in the spring, so no real worries and you might want to transfer capped brood to other colonies, remembering that 80% of the varroa will be in there.

That may be very little (if treated effectively), but the extra brood (don't overdo it for any one colony) can be a help to the other colonies. Just wait until the time is right before making any decisions, apart from having the kit ready and available!

Regards, RAB
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
26,850
Reaction score
1,162
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.
Start your spring with recent box. When it is time to enlarge the hive, put the commecial under the recent box + exluder.

After 3 weeks all bees have emerged and bees fill the combs with honey. Excluder is not necessary, bees enlarge downwards and some day the upper box is full of honey.

Be patient.
 

RoofTops 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,428
Reaction score
1
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
Yes it was a slip of the thumbs. I should have said shook swarm. An artifical swarm is a different thing entirely. What Finman describes is an alternative way - a Bailley frame change really. If the colony is weak or you live where Finman does it would be the preferable method and is still preferred by many here in the UK. It is less stressful and brood rearing is not interrupted but you lose out on the varroa reduction and way the colonies can rebound from a shook swarm stronger than they would if you did a Bailley frame change.
 
Last edited:

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,523
Reaction score
29
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
Y but you lose out on the varroa reduction and way the colonies can rebound from a shook swarm stronger than they would if you did a Bailley frame change.

yes agree, but i have never understood why they come back stronger after a Shook swarm rather just leaving them alone

i will be doing at least on SS this year possiblely about 3rd week in March depending on how the spring turns out as i had to use both Bayvarol and thymol this year on one hive
 

Somerford 

Drone Bee
***
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
1,788
Reaction score
229
Location
Wiltshire, Somerset, S Glos & S Oxfordshire
Hive Type
national
.
Start your spring with recent box. When it is time to enlarge the hive, put the commecial under the recent box + exluder.

After 3 weeks all bees have emerged and bees fill the combs with honey. Excluder is not necessary, bees enlarge downwards and some day the upper box is full of honey.

Be patient.
Not forgetting to put the queen in the lower box, else you won't achieve anything in this case !
 

Black Comb 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
2,737
Reaction score
1
Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
10+
Eddie

There's an article on shook swarm in January 2011 edition of BeeCraft.
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,523
Reaction score
29
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
Eddie

There's an article on shook swarm in January 2011 edition of BeeCraft.
the postal delivery in your area must be better than ours, I dont expect to receive my copy until January if other delivers are anything to go by---15 days Newcastle to London 1st Class recorded letter
 

Black Comb 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
2,737
Reaction score
1
Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
10+
Yes came today with my Amazon books that were posted ord. parcel post 12 days ago.
 

Monsieur Abeille 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2010
Messages
2,984
Reaction score
3
Location
Exmoor
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
None of my own
the postal delivery in your area must be better than ours, I dont expect to receive my copy until January if other delivers are anything to go by---15 days Newcastle to London 1st Class recorded letter
Mine arrived yesterday as well, in fact I was just about the read the SS instructions
 

Latest posts

Top