Swarm control without finding the queen

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Joined
Sep 4, 2011
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Location
Wiveliscombe
Hive Type
National
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Until this evening I've never really stopped to consider in depth what's going on in this situation. It's easy just to follow the instructions, do X, Y and Z and Bob's a none-too-distant relation. Having given a bit of time to thinking about it, here's my current my idea of what happens. By all means point out omissions or mistakes :D

If I split a colony with an open QC (or perhaps more than one open QC) when I can't find the queen, by moving the colony a few metres away and leaving an empty hive at the original site, then the flying bees should return to that new hive. Both colonies should lose interest in swarming because the original lacks flying bees to trigger the swarm and the flying bees lack young bees to make up a swarm. Both colonies need a minimum of one frame of BIAS so they can raise a new queen if required, with the majority staying with the young bees so they can look after them.

I'd guess that in most cases the queen will end up with the young bees depending on exactly how the split is carried out, though it doesn't matter. But is it important where the queen cells end up?

If they're in with the young bees and the queen is also present, quite likely they'll get torn down without flying bees bringing in food (they could be torn down by the beekeeper, but Sod's Law says one would get missed anyhow). If she's not present then they'll try to keep at least some of the QCs going to raise a replacement.

With food coming in, emerging brood and a QC, the flying bees may well try to keep the QC going regardless of the presence of a queen.

There's no guarantee that the queen will continue laying during all of these shenanigans, so probably the only definitive indicator of where she is will be the presence or otherwise of queen cells with the flying bees that were started after the colony was split. But does it actually matter where she is? She should be laying in one colony at some point and the other will have a virgin queen, so is there an issue? Perhaps it's more important to know where the queen isn't, so that colony can be left undisturbed whilst the virgin queen gets mated and starts laying.

The replacement box for the flying bees shouldn't therefore be left with any queen cells at the time of the split. Giving them just a single frame of BIAS should make that easier to achieve. If this box is inspected first a week after the split and there are QCs (all but one of which I'd tear down) and then there are also QCs in the box with the young bees, then that's a whole new problem to deal with.

Have I missed anything?

James
 
Until this evening I've never really stopped to consider in depth what's going on in this situation. It's easy just to follow the instructions, do X, Y and Z and Bob's a none-too-distant relation. Having given a bit of time to thinking about it, here's my current my idea of what happens. By all means point out omissions or mistakes :D

If I split a colony with an open QC (or perhaps more than one open QC) when I can't find the queen, by moving the colony a few metres away and leaving an empty hive at the original site, then the flying bees should return to that new hive. Both colonies should lose interest in swarming because the original lacks flying bees to trigger the swarm and the flying bees lack young bees to make up a swarm. Both colonies need a minimum of one frame of BIAS so they can raise a new queen if required, with the majority staying with the young bees so they can look after them.

I'd guess that in most cases the queen will end up with the young bees depending on exactly how the split is carried out, though it doesn't matter. But is it important where the queen cells end up?

If they're in with the young bees and the queen is also present, quite likely they'll get torn down without flying bees bringing in food (they could be torn down by the beekeeper, but Sod's Law says one would get missed anyhow). If she's not present then they'll try to keep at least some of the QCs going to raise a replacement.

With food coming in, emerging brood and a QC, the flying bees may well try to keep the QC going regardless of the presence of a queen.

There's no guarantee that the queen will continue laying during all of these shenanigans, so probably the only definitive indicator of where she is will be the presence or otherwise of queen cells with the flying bees that were started after the colony was split. But does it actually matter where she is? She should be laying in one colony at some point and the other will have a virgin queen, so is there an issue? Perhaps it's more important to know where the queen isn't, so that colony can be left undisturbed whilst the virgin queen gets mated and starts laying.

The replacement box for the flying bees shouldn't therefore be left with any queen cells at the time of the split. Giving them just a single frame of BIAS should make that easier to achieve. If this box is inspected first a week after the split and there are QCs (all but one of which I'd tear down) and then there are also QCs in the box with the young bees, then that's a whole new problem to deal with.

Have I missed anything?

James

Quite much
The bees of boath colonies HAVE NOT lost interest in swarming when you splitted the original colony. Boath plits have swarming fever on.

If I put an flying Italian swarm on the foundations, bees start to draw fpundations after 3 days and the old queen starts to lqy again.

If I put the flying queen onto the drawn empty combs, 30% out of artificial swarms keep they swarming fever and they raise new queen cells.

The brood colony has all the time the swarming fever on, and they only wait wheb they get a new winged queen. And you need to do some trick to it. Ther are some alternatives before the colony get 10 emerged queen and couple of then swarm woth workers.

With Carniolan bees it is much more difficult that they loose the swarming fever with badgen method.
********,,
Badgen method has been explainen very well in google.
 
Until this evening I've never really stopped to consider in depth what's going on in this situation. It's easy just to follow the instructions, do X, Y and Z and Bob's a none-too-distant relation. Having given a bit of time to thinking about it, here's my current my idea of what happens. By all means point out omissions or mistakes :D

If I split a colony with an open QC (or perhaps more than one open QC) when I can't find the queen, by moving the colony a few metres away and leaving an empty hive at the original site, then the flying bees should return to that new hive. Both colonies should lose interest in swarming because the original lacks flying bees to trigger the swarm and the flying bees lack young bees to make up a swarm. Both colonies need a minimum of one frame of BIAS so they can raise a new queen if required, with the majority staying with the young bees so they can look after them.

I'd guess that in most cases the queen will end up with the young bees depending on exactly how the split is carried out, though it doesn't matter. But is it important where the queen cells end up?

If they're in with the young bees and the queen is also present, quite likely they'll get torn down without flying bees bringing in food (they could be torn down by the beekeeper, but Sod's Law says one would get missed anyhow). If she's not present then they'll try to keep at least some of the QCs going to raise a replacement.

With food coming in, emerging brood and a QC, the flying bees may well try to keep the QC going regardless of the presence of a queen.

There's no guarantee that the queen will continue laying during all of these shenanigans, so probably the only definitive indicator of where she is will be the presence or otherwise of queen cells with the flying bees that were started after the colony was split. But does it actually matter where she is? She should be laying in one colony at some point and the other will have a virgin queen, so is there an issue? Perhaps it's more important to know where the queen isn't, so that colony can be left undisturbed whilst the virgin queen gets mated and starts laying.

The replacement box for the flying bees shouldn't therefore be left with any queen cells at the time of the split. Giving them just a single frame of BIAS should make that easier to achieve. If this box is inspected first a week after the split and there are QCs (all but one of which I'd tear down) and then there are also QCs in the box with the young bees, then that's a whole new problem to deal with.

Have I missed anything?

James
https://www.theapiarist.org/swarm-control-and-elusive-queens/

Try this James.
 

He doesn't really specifically explain why you (eventually) need to know where the queen is, though. Never having thought the entire process though before, I thought I should. At the moment the only reason I can come up with is so you know where she isn't, and where is going to have the virgin queen so you can leave her alone.

I may however have gone up a blind alley in my reasoning and can't now see the way out :D

James
 
Wally Shaw describes a “modified Snelgrove” method (without any fancy board) in his swarming booklet for Welsh BKA. On the old site he leaves the new box with two frames of eggs and young larvae WITHOUT BEES so the queen is definitely not there, and she and the brood are moved a little way away - I think it is more than 3 meters so the flying bees don’t join her. I need to read it again but it sounds reasonable. The swarm motivators are with the flying bees so the queen cells in the parent colony do get torn down. On Day 9 the queen is “repatriated” (rematriated??) but is easier to find by then, and the two frames, now with QCs, removed. It’s worth a read - all sounds very logical. I haven’t done it myself yet but plan to do so this season. It is supposed to gave a better success rate than the Pagden.
 
Wally Shaw describes a “modified Snelgrove” method (without any fancy board) in his swarming booklet for Welsh BKA. On the old site he leaves the new box with two frames of eggs and young larvae WITHOUT BEES so the queen is definitely not there, and she and the brood are moved a little way away - I think it is more than 3 meters so the flying bees don’t join her. I need to read it again but it sounds reasonable. The swarm motivators are with the flying bees so the queen cells in the parent colony do get torn down. On Day 9 the queen is “repatriated” (rematriated??) but is easier to find by then, and the two frames, now with QCs, removed. It’s worth a read - all sounds very logical. I haven’t done it myself yet but plan to do so this season. It is supposed to gave a better success rate than the Pagden.

Padgen is very good. I have done it 30 years. But I know many guys who gave not learned to succeed in it.
Clipping queens' wing is very essential.
Otherwise ypu will see the smarm high at the tree top 30 metres.
 
Wally Shaw describes a “modified Snelgrove” method (without any fancy board) in his swarming booklet for Welsh BKA. On the old site he leaves the new box with two frames of eggs and young larvae WITHOUT BEES so the queen is definitely not there, and she and the brood are moved a little way away - I think it is more than 3 meters so the flying bees don’t join her. I need to read it again but it sounds reasonable. The swarm motivators are with the flying bees so the queen cells in the parent colony do get torn down. On Day 9 the queen is “repatriated” (rematriated??) but is easier to find by then, and the two frames, now with QCs, removed. It’s worth a read - all sounds very logical. I haven’t done it myself yet but plan to do so this season. It is supposed to gave a better success rate than the Pagden.
I've tried this twice. Once the queen was killed and the other time the queen cells were not torn down and the colony swarmed. I asked Wally about his notion that bees don't swarm on emergency cells in this manoeuvre and he admitted he never looked in the box for weeks so he really couldn't actually stand the opinion up.
 
Ooh that is odd, he makes a big issue about doing the second part on Day 9, so he must be looking through that box to find the queen, and he then removes the 2 frames of emergency QCs before replacing her with 2 frames of nest mates, just at the time they expect a queen. I wonder if any of his Welsh buddies can comment?
 
I meant the he doesn't look in the box after he repatriates the queen. He has aways been quite solid in his opinion that bees do not swarm on emergency cells, simply choosing one and tearing down the rest.
Or has he modified the manipulation further? It's a few years since I tried it
EDIT. On refection I think it worked once for me but mu memory is hazy
 
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