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Thread: Swarming

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I However if we do I hope you are right!!!
    [edit] I very rarely edit my posts like this, but I posted late, was tired and I don't agree with what I wrote. As no-one's replied specifically to it I'm just going to remove it with my apologies and just say

    So do I! Instead.
    Last edited by Neils; 21-05-2012 at 01:08 PM.

  2. #12
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    Part III is up, this is the bit I'm expecting people to have the most quibbles with as the initial text says, treat with caution for now, when we're happy that we think it consistutes good advice I'll take the warning off.

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    This is the best document I have found re. swarm control.
    If you read this, assimilate it, and take logical steps , you will be on top of the situation.
    It really is worth reading from cover to cover.
    I got our bka sec to circulate this to all members last year.

    So hats off to the Welsh.

    http://www.wbka.com/pdf/a012queencells.pdf

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    You could have said before I wrote all this

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    It really is an impressive practical document. Whoever put it together absolutely knows what makes bees tick with regard to swarming.
    I think the problem most people have is that they don't get their heads around the arithmetic.
    When someone tells me they couldn't find the queen and they fear they have lost a swarm I always ask what age was the youngest larva they saw or were eggs present during the inspection. Invariably they never thought to check for that. if your youngest larva is say 2 days old that would usually mean you lost the prime swarm 5 days before. (taking into account caveats about the weather)

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I'm going back home after a weekend away. Weather good and I'm not sure what I'll find. As a newbie this whole swarm stuff is very scary. I have committed several hundred pounds into a Nuc, raised it successfully through the winter to a strong colony and I could loose it all. Due to rubbish weather we have not been able to have a really good inspection. I just hope we don't have to refer to this thread tomorrow. However if we do I hope you are right!!!
    Ron Brown wrote a nice little beekeeping book and he makes the point that you will hear them swarm and if you are at home ie retired voluntarily or by the condem coilition the swarm almost always settles first close to your hives and you just bag em in a cardboard box or a nuc box

  7. #17
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    Jon, from what I've read of it so far I agree with you, it's gone straight onto the phone for further (re)reading, if anyone ever nicks that phone they're going to wonder about my reading list

    As a top tip for smartphone owners, mine is crammed full of beekeeping .pdf files, now including the swarming one above. I'm certainly not averse to plonking the crown board back on a hive and sitting down for 5 minutes to double check something if I need to.

    I think in defence of this thread, it was never the intention to try and be all encompassing, you can and people have written books on the subject, what I wanted to to create some practical, useful information around swarming aimed at new beekeepers (and try and get some discussion around bees, supposedly the reason we hang out here to begin with).
    Last edited by Neils; 22-05-2012 at 12:07 AM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Whoever put it together absolutely knows what makes bees tick with regard to swarming.
    Wally Shaw wrote it. He's the Wales Technical officer and has produced a whole library of guides, all partly funded by the Welsh Assembly Government. He is very knowledgeable despite not having a single module to his name. If you read his stuff you can tell that he keeps bees himself! Other writers seem to just regurgitate the myths they inherited from writers who went before them without looking in their own hives.

    Rosie

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    Great thread, really really good, any chance of you making a .pdf of it when you are done with everyone arguing about it...
    I'd add
    As beekeeper, why should I care if my bees swarm?
    if you care about your bees- yes.
    They will likely not be recaught and will sooner or later succumb to varroa as they will not have a beekeeper to look after them.. An awful and preventable end.!
    When they do, the collapsing colony bees will abscond / be robbed, probably bringing alot of that varroa back to your hives!
    Last edited by Calum; 22-05-2012 at 09:44 PM.

  10. #20
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    And causes of swarming - what we are taught here...
    as the number of bees : open brood ratio changes during buildup the work the bees have to do drops of (starting about middle april) enabeling them to think of silly things like swarming, especially if the nectar flow also drops off.
    Bees loaded with work will not think about swarming. Removing bees and closed brood (1 frame closed brood = 3 frames bees) to make young colonies is a good way to keep them busy. empty frames for drones will keep them busy and give an indicator on their willingness to swarm (they build it out quick and solely for drones).

    Keep the ladies working hard and they'll not tend to get notions about straying away from home as a general rule
    Last edited by Calum; 22-05-2012 at 09:50 PM.

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