Quantcast

To shook swarm or not?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I realise that we may well have a split camp regards a shook swarm but I am interested to know if the idea is on the increase.

A couple of years back I was chatting with the Apiary manager of a local association that I am not a member of and he informed me that all members hive got a shook swarm in the spring.

He went on to say that to date all the hives not only bounced back but overtook other hives in the same area that were left alone.

I am still not convinced myself that removing all that drawn comb/brood for disease prophylaxis is a good idea.

Your thoughts?
 

VEG 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
6,830
Reaction score
0
Location
Maesteg South Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
15+-some
I cant see how they could do better than colonies that allready have brood at all stages food stores and comb built. :confused:
 

Onge 

Field Bee
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
839
Reaction score
0
Location
Cambridge
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
9 Medium Poly, mostly foundation-less. Some run as Warre TBH
One of my hives has had a shook swarm every spring for 2 years.

So far has yielded 80 to 90 lb of honey each year.(at the same time as being split)

Also I made 2 splits out of the same hive this year that are also doing well.

So yes so far I do endorse that Apiary managers view.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,605
Reaction score
173
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
I am still not convinced myself that removing all that drawn comb/brood for disease prophylaxis is a good idea.

Your thoughts?

He is a man who does not know what to do.

When we send private letters between Hivemaker and me, I often greet him "Shake bees". It means that a British beekeepers do not know, what to do, go to hives, and shake bees.

American beekeepers feed some syrup, if they do not know better.

Jesus said." Only sick needs healing".

Why to shake hives which do not need it? - Where is my pills!

.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,631
Reaction score
35
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Finman,

A lot of us certainly like a change of surroundings - lots say they benefit from a holiday.

Lots change there decor very regularly. Some even change their surroundings for a better way of life.

So perhaps the bees might benefit for a complete spring clean rather than the one we all give then now (or perhaps you do not give them a freshly cleaned floor etc?

It is an idea worth trying and will not do so much harm at the worst.

Veg,

You need to read the wording a little more closely. The apiary fellow did not say all hives. He/she may have been referring to equivalently sized or developed colonies. I would never expect a very weak colony to catch up and overtake a hugely healthy and strong colony in the season. But it might do just as well the following year. Who knows?

Regards to both, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,655
Reaction score
3
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
I do not think it a great idea for these reasons:

1. An immense stress is placed on the colony. I know how much stress doing a Taranov swarm creates and the shook swarm is on the same scale.
http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/taranovswm.html

2. Disease. If stored comb is fumigated with acetic acid it should be free of spores. If the stored comb has foul brood on/in it nothing short of burning or advanced fumigation will benefit it, and advanced fumigation is beyond most if not all in the uk.

3. Creating a package will induce vigorous activity yes. I would call it activity born of desperation. I can justify that in terms of creating Mini Nucs for queen mating but not for full colonies in spring. The stress must be incredible.

4. This is NOT a manipulation to be performed in suburban gardens either. If you want to see a colony roused to fury....

So FWIW they are my negative thoughts. I cannot see the return justifies the means and if a colony gives 100 lbs after this "treatment" I wonder what they would have produced with out it.

PH
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,605
Reaction score
173
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
Finman,


So perhaps the bees might benefit for a complete spring clean rather than the one we all give then now (or perhaps you do not give them a freshly cleaned floor etc?
B
In Finland we have those mad keepers too. They do not care about honey yield, They just want to exute their macig fixed idea. They say that "I change bedsheets, - don't you want to sleep on clean sheets?".

Some wnat to keep bees in cold hives. They want that heir bees are more harsh than other beekeepers'. And their bees forage in very low temperatures. Hives never die or swarm or be sick.

And bees go to muddy pool to get drinking water...



SHAKE BEES, MAKE HARSH BEES!

.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
I have probably said enough on this subject already but for what it is worth here goes again:

A shook swarm is against everything traditional beekeepers understand as how to manage a colony - this is where Finman and others are coming from I think.

But, and it is a very big but, the reality is quite different. I learned the technique from a very active beekeeper in Devon who has been doing this now on all his colonies in the Spring for several years, having discovered the method almost by accident after observing how colonies given a shook swarm because of high varroa loads reacted.

A shook swarm must be carried out on strong colonies although it can be done on weak ones but in this case they should be shaken into a nuc box. The results from weak colonies may not be so dramatic but this may because there is a reason why the colony is weak and therefore the colony was probably never going to do well.

I can only suggest the doubters try the method. Here is a recent and promising discovery on bee management and people are criticising it without the evidence to back up their views other than speculation.

In my view there is only one reason not to do a shook swarm, and it is a valid concern, which is the ethical problem of destroying a lot of living bees in pupal and larval stages. This is why the method is not permitted under the Soil Association rules for organic beekeeping.

I will caveat my comments by saying my exerience is based here in Devon. I am sure it will work over much of the rest of the UK but in regions with only a short summer and nectar flow, such as Finland (Finman will correct me if I am wrong) a shook swarm may not be appropriate.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,605
Reaction score
173
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.
Roof, I know so much beehives build up that vain shooking is a catastrophAs y to the yield.

It vast said among professional beekeepers around the world that swarming is the worst enemy of beekeeping. Why shooking is the blessing?

False swarm are used

1) stop down swarming when queen cells already exist

2) when clean AFB from hive

As big a disaster is when hobby beekeepers split their hives before they have reached optimal size.

3) Shaking is not a valid varroa control method.

4) Even "worker queen shaking" is not valid tool to give a new queen.
And it doen not help even British University revieled the secret of worker layers.

.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,605
Reaction score
173
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
I can only suggest the doubters try the method. Here is a recent and promising discovery on bee management and people are criticising it without the evidence to back up their views other than speculation.
.
I am grazy if I try all methods what fool beekeeping beginners propose to me on these forums. Shoud I neglect my 47 years beekeeping experience and 28 years experience with varroa?

Roof, you have heard about Bencmarking. It means that dont invent the wheel yourself. Take into usage the best method what others have developed.

Varroa control has been developed by guys who get paid for it. It is my way.

I say that I have teached trickling to British and American beekeepers for years. When you handle colony with OA, you need not shake them. Shaking is the last method which I take into use when I kill mites. So I must say good bye to my yield.

Last summer I had much swarms. I had a chance to trickle them, but I did not, because I did not see miten on them.

I have said too, that varroa is not the meaning of my beekeeping. It is huge yields and all kinds of shaking is against huge yields.


************

I use electricct heating and pollen patty, drive with car every week 200 miles that I get early a big brood area, and then I destroy brood . HUH

************

I use to tell my opinion about Miss Universum without beeing myself Miss.

***********

But shake bees if you do not otherwise know what to do to them
 
Last edited:

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
Remember we have a much longer season than Finland though,so the bees will have time to recover better.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,605
Reaction score
173
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.

ALMOST SAME METHOD

10 years ago Apistan did not always worked well and many beekeepers in Finland took away the first early brood frames. So they catched about 80% of living mites.

The effect is really the same that mites are under cappings and brood are destroyed, but bees were not shaked.

But nowadays we have so good stuffs, like formic acid that you need not destroy early brood, The result is worse than mites can do.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
We won't fall out over this. I do not suggest it is the correct method for Finland but a growing number of experienced UK beekeepers (not me!) in the UK have tried this method and to their surprise have found it very successful.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,605
Reaction score
173
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
Remember we have a much longer season than Finland though,so the bees will have time to recover better.
And you are in many ways very different in your beekeeping.

You make much work to stay in your old sites.

Even law is the last gate where Oxalic Acid can go through or lacking of kitchen balance.
 
Last edited:

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I thought a shook swarm was aimed at foul brood not just verroa?
 

Somerford 

Drone Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
1,589
Reaction score
15
Location
Wiltshire, Somerset, S Glos & S Oxfordshire
Hive Type
national
re.

ok. so there are a few differing viewpoints which I accept.

Having not done one for the management of varroa/foulbrood, can someone please answer:

1. Benefits for varroa control
2. Best time of year to do the shook swarm
3. Equipment needed.
4. Does the hive need to be relocated 3 miles away ?
5. Can you use foundation instead of drawn combs
6. Likelihood of natural swarming occurring
7. Do you then routinely do another varroa control (ie. oxalic)
8. Does the age of the queen make this more/less successful ?
9. Advantages/disadvantages in general ?

thanks - I have plenty of time to read replies as working from home .... not because I can't get to work (thank you Landrover) but it is brass monkeys in our warehouse !!!

regards

S
 

Hombre 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
1
Location
West Midlands
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
Ten
Given that a shook swarm may not be much use for varroa control and there is no foul brood, then, having seen first hand how colonies bounced back after a shook swarm, I am looking in 2010 to shake my strongest colony and donate the brood around the apiary. The intention is then to progressively perform the procedure so that by the time it comes for the, originally, weakest colony to be shaken, then it will have been reinforced and become significantly stronger by the time it's turn.

First let's get them through the winter though :)
 

Latest posts

Top