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mbc 

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One method of dealing with a colony intent on swarming.
Today I came across a strong colony on 10 frames of brood which hadnt built out the foundation in its super and had built queen cells on five of the brood frames - I decided to 'butcher' them:

1.First find the queen ( the gods of beekeeping were smiling on me and I got her on the second from last frame on my first look through the brood box)

2.Take away any frames with sealed queen cells - 5 - with adhering bees and also with a few more shaken in to really cover the frames with bees

3.Go through the remaining frames shaking all the bees off, squishing any queen cells and scraping any capped stores untill the honey's dripping

4.Release the queen back in and re-assemble the hive with the remaining brood alternating with new frames making sure any messy honey/cappings from the brood frames are smeared over the super frames

5.Leave for a week and check to see what theyve done, hoping theyve given up wanting to swarm, cleaned up all the mess, drawn out some foundation and the queens back laying
 

jezd 

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what did you do with the 5 frames and Q sealed cells?
 

mbc 

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5 x 1 frame nucs ( I did hammer the parent hive for bees )
 

mbc 

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I'll post again in a week or so after going back to that one - I bet it'l work
 

oliver90owner 

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I have reservations as does PH. I agree with him, so disagree with you.

You will need some good luck for the nucs and the main colony will likely swarm again shortly, as the swarming instinct will not have been satisfied.

Super was above a Q/E? I'm expecting that was the first mistake. No laying space.

Your location may help compared to up here in chilly Lincolnshire.

RAB
 
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mbc 

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It was a bit of an experiment and a bit rough on the colony ( hence the 'butcher') .
I was calling in on a friend and it was her bees I 'butchered' as she really didnt want to lose a swarm as shes in a residential area and she doesnt have any spare kit to do an as.
I did what I could with the equipment I had to hand' admittedly not ideal but probably a good chance of success as by the time the bees have cleaned up the mess they'll be far less congested, be up in the super and have far less flying bees and brood to hatch.
As for the brood i pinched with cells, theyve each gone into one side of a split box with plenty of bees to cover the frame of brood and to spare- I'll add some empty frames in a few days when I check to see if the cells have hatched
 

VEG 

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Sorry mbc but you seem quite happy to have "butchered" your friends bees. You have probably done more harm than good. The word "butchered" means to have killed something I really hope you havn't.
 

victor meldrew 

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Sorry mbc but you seem quite happy to have "butchered" your friends bees. You have probably done more harm than good. The word "butchered" means to have killed something I really hope you havn't.
And here's me thinking that butchering was the skillful dissection of already dead food animals ?
Ah! well you lives and learns :bigear:.

John Wilkinson
 

VEG 

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I am refering to the way in which the OP seems quite happy to have butchered someone elses bees.
Do you feel happy with the way it has been worded and dealt with Victor?

The word butchered also means to kill someone in a very violent way. Just in case you want to learn something else.
 
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victor meldrew 

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I am refering to the way in which the OP seems quite happy to have butchered someone elses bees.
Do you feel happy with the way it has been worded and dealt with Victor?

The word butchered also means to kill someone in a very violent way. Just in case you want to learn something else.
Sorry Craig .I was pulling your leg :leaving:.
For the record I don't feel at all happy about the wording or the deed .
I think bravado was driving his word choice !!

John Wilkinson
 

mbc 

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Sorry mbc but you seem quite happy to have "butchered" your friends bees. You have probably done more harm than good. The word "butchered" means to have killed something I really hope you havn't.
I thought 'butchered' meant cutting up a carcass into usefull bits
For the record her bees are doing really well, far further in advance to most colonies I've seen recently, so I was caught on the hop with a minimum of equipment.
Youve obviously missread something I wrote if you think that anything in this skillfull manipulation ( more bravado )would have killed the colony- worst case scenario as far as i can think of is that the bees continue to try to swarm
 
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Polyanwood 

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Can't wait for the next installment mbc.

The fascinating bit is that although there will be fewer bees in the original hive, there won't necessary be much more room for the queen to lay unless you put in extra frames of foundation.... although you were hoping they would move the stores upstairs weren't you which would help. Also wonder if this approach will fool the bees that they have swarmed....bee-smillie
 

mbc 

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Havent been back to the parent hive yet but checked all five nucs and the queen cells have hatched and the nucs doing fine . I must get back to the parent hive asap and check her condition
Polyanwood - the remaining brood in the parent hive weas interspursed with some drawn comb some foundation giving plenty more space for the queen to lay - I hope she has got on with it as I've left it a bit long to go back if shes still thinkibng of swarming
 

mark s 

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for wot its worth and i know im a newbie and should keep quite but surely this could have been avoided if your friend had invested in a spare hive and othere bits and bobs;)
im now going to run for cover!!!!!!! :)
 

RoseCottage 

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As a newbie too I thought that the addition of new brood frame (drawn or otherwise) was to be at the ends of the brood nest not within it which would lead to breaks in the nest and potential problems...
Sam.
 

mbc 

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As a newbie too I thought that the addition of new brood frame (drawn or otherwise) was to be at the ends of the brood nest not within it which would lead to breaks in the nest and potential problems...
Sam.
Normally this would be right , but this colony had built up to swarming strength and I was trying to confuse and confound them and I'm pleased to say it worked a treat, the queen has continued layingup the brood nest, the bees have started drawing out the super frames and there are no more queencells being built.
Nearly a total success my only reservations being I hit them a bit hard and it will be too late for a spring crop by the time theyve built up to full strength again, and of course they will need a new queen before the seasons out unless they supercede
 

mbc 

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3 out of 5 of the nucs have laying queens with good pattern the other two failed to mate for whatever reason and have been boosted and given another cell.
The original hive swarmed anyway - but after collecting 2 supers of honey and filling out the brood box to 9.5 frames of brood.
I'm sure had I all the time in the world and got back to my friends hive sooner (or perhaps she could have followed advice and looked after them ! ) then the hive would have been fine. As it is shes got some honey, I've got 3 queens ( although I'm sceptical about their swarmyness ) and once her new queen gets going her hive will be in fine fettle for a summer crop.
Would I try this method again ? Yes , but only if I knew I could go back and follow up in a timely fashion myself.
To veg ,ph and o90o who were critical of the method (and wording ! ) variety is the spice and if we all only followed conventional book learned beekeeipng the craft would stagnate pretty quickly
 

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