What should I have done?

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So I can learn from my mistakes last year, what do people think I should have done?
If I had demarreed what would have been the right time line to have started?
The bees were a swarm, received June 2018, local & orange. Overwintered on brood and nadired empty (no frames) super ( won’t do that again!).
8th April first inspection of year. ?left it too late. Removed nadired super and brace comb which contained brood and stores. Added super and frames on top of brood box.
10th April colony swarmed. I did catch it!
I assume I should have done an AS on the 8th but I was in a mess with all the brace comb and obviously missed qc’s. Lockdown prevented any help from experienced beeks.
So, I have learnt that I must keep an eye on the temperature, available forage & drones etc. If swarm preparations start about 2 weeks prior to it happening, I should have inspected at the end of March. Would it have been to early at that point to demarree? Could I have added a dummied down brood box to increase space instead? Or given the time of year, so early in the season, but a late inspection would a split have been the only sensible solution to stop them swarming?
Suggestions on how I could have done things differently welcomed!
 
Your first inspection depends on colony activity weather and available forage. Last year the season started very early and my colonies were all fairly well on their way at the end of March.
As you know a Demaree is pre-emptive so once you have a booming colony with queen cups being made and a significant number of drones then you can Demaree
And yes an AS would have been the way to go
 
As above. It sounds like you removed a significant part of the nest and I'm going to guess that the super you gave them was foundation?
 
As above. It sounds like you removed a significant part of the nest and I'm going to guess that the super you gave them was foundation?
Yes, it was mostly foundation, with a small amount of drawn comb from the previous summer/ autumn.
 
Sorry, so just to be clear, you took away some of the brood? Why? What did you do with it?
I’m a beginner and this was my first autumn/ winter. Because I misunderstood what a beekeeper had instructed, I nadired just the super box without any frames inside in the autumn. By the spring it was full of comb but there was no order to it. The comb was not neatly attached to the bottom of the brood frames, instead it was a jumble, extending from the frames in all different directions. As I lifted out the frames to do the first inspection of the year pieces broke off. I didn’t know what to do and to be honest I panicked. The broken pieces of comb, some with brood and some containing stores went in the compost bin. I realise that I made a massive number of mistakes, hence why I would like to find out what other people would have done if they had come across a similar situation.
 
Sounds like you removed the super and brace comb and left them with no space so they swarmed. April is very early for a swarm.
Lack of space for the queen to lay is a swarm trigger.
If the nadired super was full of brood that also points to the brood box being full as generally they work top down.
 
I’m a beginner and this was my first autumn/ winter. Because I misunderstood what a beekeeper had instructed, I nadired just the super box without any frames inside in the autumn. By the spring it was full of comb but there was no order to it. The comb was not neatly attached to the bottom of the brood frames, instead it was a jumble, extending from the frames in all different directions. As I lifted out the frames to do the first inspection of the year pieces broke off. I didn’t know what to do and to be honest I panicked. The broken pieces of comb, some with brood and some containing stores went in the compost bin. I realise that I made a massive number of mistakes, hence why I would like to find out what other people would have done if they had come across a similar situation.

Thanks, sorry that makes sense now. Some crazy wild comb has happened to us all, don't worry.
 
Early swarming is often caused by too much of syrup winter stores left on the colony.
 
Early swarming is often caused by too much of syrup winter stores left on the colony.

i think i had too many stores left and think im heading that way again if this year is anything like last year

just looked at my records and i had UBB with 5-6 frames BIA on 8th March which is early and had quite a lot of swarm preps during april may.

i guess if many brood frames still capped with stores you freeze for nucs etc and give foundation/comb?
 
If you had not fed sugar in the first place you could extract any stores remaining in spring, without any worries about it being adulterated.
 
If you had not fed sugar in the first place you could extract any stores remaining in spring, without any worries about it being adulterated.

Indeed, but many colonies need feeding. Late swarms, late splits, just weaker colonies etc.
 
If you had not fed sugar in the first place you could extract any stores remaining in spring, without any worries about it being adulterated.
This is what we do to a hundred or so, and as they overwinter on double brood no feeding is needed. Sounds weird, when syrup is cheap and honey valuable, but factor in the admin to order syrup, the labour and fuel to unload it, load, transport, unload and divvy up, plus carting the feeders on and off (er, not in this case, as we have very few) and it makes sense to take it in the spring. Ivy is awkward but can be used for feeding this and that.
 
If you had not fed sugar in the first place you could extract any stores remaining in spring, without any worries about it being adulterated.
No you can’t most has gone rock solid by then...
Early swarming is often caused by too much of syrup winter stores left on the colony.
No more like lack of beekeeper attention stores can be removed frames juggled around cappings bruised, space given. If the weathers been good enough for early swarms you should have been into the hives long before. Not blaming what happened months ago!!
 
I always remove syrup stores, leaving two frames, and fondant, if any, when my prunus is in flower as I know there is plenty of forage around then.
 
If you had not fed sugar in the first place you could extract any stores remaining in spring, without any worries about it being adulterated.
OR perhaps the bees could have starved to death overwinter?
NBU put out a starvation alert in the beginning of January as many beekeepers found that the season had given such a small surplus it was not worth their while going to all the bother of extracting... so left it to the bees thinking that it would get them through the winter.....
Two calls today.... can I reserve a nuc of bees for Spring as I have "lost" mine!!!!

CF... our chickens have not given us any eggs for a while as generally they go off lay overwinter..... however they would die if stopped feeding them !
 
OR perhaps the bees could have starved to death overwinter?
NBU put out a starvation alert in the beginning of January as many beekeepers found that the season had given such a small surplus it was not worth their while going to all the bother of extracting... so left it to the bees thinking that it would get them through the winter.....
Two calls today.... can I reserve a nuc of bees for Spring as I have "lost" mine!!!!

CF... our chickens have not given us any eggs for a while as generally they go off lay overwinter..... however they would die if stopped feeding them !
NBU starvation alerts are pumped out with monotonous regularity so most Beekeepers stopped taking notice of them
 

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