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muelindustries 

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Hey,
I've been keeping bees for just over a year now, and today was my first swarm. I checked over the frames on tuesday after around a week and a half after the last time, I know I cut it late but the weather at every opportunity I had stopped me! I removed all the queen cells I could see, but obviously one slipped my eye.

I noticed them acting a little odd this morning and sure enough they had swarmed by noon. What was a relatively small swarm settled on a bush in an awkward position but i managed to get most into a cardboard box. I put some ventilation holes in box and hastily went and bought a broodbox ect. as I didn't have a spare to hand. However by the time I got home, they had all gone!

Have I just been a complete idiot or is there any other reason why they would all just go?

Cheers
Samuel
 

Chris B 

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Hi Samuel,
simply knocking off all queen cells will not stop swarming indefinitely. If they are determined they can turn a 2 day old worker larva into a queen cell and have it sealed 3 days later, and off goes the swarm. You need to do some kind of split for more reliable swarm control. Having said that, I do actually use your method occasionally and just cross my fingers - it's better than nothing if I've got no time or spare kit handy.
All the best
Chris
 

Mike a 

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A few possible answers for you

If your queen is clipped the swarm may well of returned to the hive once they found the queen had not flown with them.

Or

They gathered enough in numbers before flying away some distance before landing again if the levels of forage is low in your area or there is several other hives in the local area.

Or

They abandoned their attempt to swarm and returned to the hive and will swarm again very soon.

Inspect them again thoroughly and see if you can find both queens if the colony still looks as strong as the last time you inspected them.
If you do find both queens you will need to artificially swarm them before they swarm again when it suits them.

Do a search on this forum for artificial swarm methods if you are unsure which option would suit you and the colony best to make them think they have swarmed already.
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi members,
Its easily done the missing of queen cells if you don't shake the bees off the frames. The little darlings will cover queen cells so to stop us cutting them out. Whilst we shake the bees off the frames back into the brood box we can then look for the brood pattern which can tell us a lot of what is going on in the hive. Members this is Basic stuff which makes me think the training of beginners is missing the basics. Thats down to Mentors Bee buddies, and the association that hold and show demonstrations on methods of beekeeping, I just feel that something is missing in the teaching of beginners. I won't keep on blaming the beginners because if they have not been shown the correct way for manipulations then its your time served I know it all beekeepers who are at fault. STANDARDS!!!!!!!!!!
 
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SER 

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Bcrazy,

I have been thinking about this recently and we are told that the young queens are very delicate in the QC's but how delicate are they? do we risk damaging by just shaking the bees from the frames?

Si.
 

oliver90owner 

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and see if you can find both queens

There would only be one queen, unless a cast (secondary swarm) as no queen will have hatched if it was a primary swarm - well very unlikely in the circumstances.

One of mine got away today. Collected it. No well developed queen cells Tuesday and I was planning on going through it today but it swarmed a.m. while I was checking my bait hives. Just a scrubby little queen cell, which was certainly not there mid week. They had given me warning earlier so I was aware of their intention to go soon, but they caught me by surprise!

Regards, RAB
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi SER
Yes your absolutely correct,
we are told that the young queens are very delicate in the QC's but how delicate are they? do we risk damaging by just shaking the bees from the frames?
Did they tell you the correct procedure for when queen cells are found to removing the bees off the frame?
Its out with the brush and brush the bees of the frame. In my honest opinion I do not think that a lot of damage can be inflicted by one quick shake , but of course there is always a chance that some minor damage could bee caused.
So the answer is brushing the bees off into the brood chamber.
 

Mike a 

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and see if you can find both queens

There would only be one queen, unless a cast (secondary swarm) as no queen will have hatched if it was a primary swarm - well very unlikely in the circumstances.

Regards, RAB
Sorry Rab - Well spotted :hurray:
I was thinking about the weather when I wrote this... chances are we are in for rain for the next few days so by the time the weather improves enough to allow Samuel a chance to inspect them again there could well be two queens kept apart by the colony.


Sorry I should of explained my thinking at the time I wrote my post. :cheers2:
 

oliver90owner 

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Mike a,

No problem really - just a new beek reading it might easily get befuddled.

SER,

Open queen cells are one thing; recently capped larvae and pupae (up to about a day or so before emergence) are entirely another. Shaking frames to look for queen cells (likely with a view to removing them anyway, is perfectly normal.

Shaking a brood frame when the queen has been superceded with just that one cell (on that frame) and she has already 'bitten the dust' (it happens) will cause further consternation and hassle and time wasted. Usually only happens very late in the season, of course!! BTDT.

We are also told to avoid having capped queen cells 'in the horizontal' for too long. All to do with the position of the coccoon in the cell - if it slips to the bottom end (ie gets dislodged) it is bye, bye to that potential replacement egg layer.

Regards, RAB
 

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