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Thread: Swarming

  1. #21
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Plus check out all the posts currently on other bee forums about swarms going into the neighbour's chimney and how to get them out. The people who end up paying for scaffolding and pest control could be out over a thousand quid. Non beekeepers do not want this hassle so beekeepers should try and act responsibly. (**clip and check at least every fortnight, preferably every week)

    ** especially if you keep bees in a built up area. Bees just love chimneys.

  2. #22
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    only every two weeks?
    The first swarm can go as soon as the queen cell is closed.
    So 3 days as egg + 5 days larve -checking for queen cups with eggs in them weekly is what we are recommended to do in Germany.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Yea but if you clip you only lose one bee in the worst case scenario. I always check weekly with important queens. I clip all mine now.

  4. #24
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    you loose the most important one though - the queen !
    Right enough clipping will help, the best method is prevention - which I have to admit has not gone very well for me this year.
    My heads just not with it, too much else going in my life on to keep my bees well this year

  5. #25
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I think I have only has 2 or 3 swarms in the past 3 years. I had one from a colony in my garden last summer but the clipped queen was back inside when I checked.

    Even have the evidence.



    The swarm clustered in my hedge about 30 feet away for about 45 minutes before returning.
    Still better to avoid this kind of caper through regular checking. Fortunately my neighbours were on holiday at the time.
    Last edited by Jon; 22-05-2012 at 10:03 PM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calum View Post
    And causes of swarming - what we are taught here...
    Bees loaded with work will not think about swarming.
    Keep the ladies working hard and they'll not tend to get notions about straying away from home as a general rule
    I agree and this is perfect weather to get foundation drawn out. If you have frames in the brood box which are all stores, no brood, you can remove them. Replace these with foundation or a frame with a starter strip to draw out and put them near the centre of the brood nest.
    This does not work in cold weather or when there is no nectar flow as they just ignore the foundation.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calum View Post
    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
    Can't see why not though I think technically some of the photos belong to the US government so I might try and sort those out over the weekend.

    but get nitpicking then

  8. #28
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    So does the general lack of nitpicking suggest that generally we're quite happy with what's written here?

  9. #29
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Yea but if you clip you only lose one bee in the worst case scenario. I always check weekly with important queens. I clip all mine now.
    I clip too. Sometimes bees will swarm even when they shouldn't (1st attempt at a queencell all year, hardly more than a queencup and they're gone - less than 3 days after an inspection when there was nothing).

    Some consider clipping cruel. I don't. What is not good is when a colony gets into a chimney or in a wall cavity and has to be destroyed. I've had a couple of calls like this recently and it pains me to say that the bees cannot be retrieved.

    Once a swarm leaves your own property, I believe that it is then not your legal responsibility even if it's a moral one.

  10. #30
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    I don't clip but I am reasonably agnostic about it being "Cruel".

    I think an attitude where you can leave it a day or two before you have to inspect because you've clipped the queen's wing isn't the right message to send. It's insurance and insurance is something you should grumble about having to pay out for until the day you need it.

    That said, this is the first year where the weather has been completely unpredictable and I did think that one of the swarms we were called out for might have been one of mine (it wasn't) so I might yet start to clip my queens because no matter how attentive you are situations can chuck you a curve ball now and again.

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