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Rob Stockley

Judging the origin of swarms - yer right!

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I went through 60 hives today and not one was trying to swarm. Last week I did a different run in a different area, the hives all had plenty of room and 2 to 3 frames of honey yet nearly half of them were raising cells. I will stop most but not all from swarming. They shouldn't be swarming as they all have new autumn queens (the ones I did today are all two-year-olds which are supposed to be more prone to swarming). It's just another example of how you never have two years or two areas the same. As for the hobbyist\commercial divide I have always had a lot of time for hobbyists and have even learnt things from them. There are certainly some bad ones out there but then not all commercials make good neighbours either. What I do see a  lot of people who get into beekeeping to help save the world or at the other end of the spectrum because they think they can make a fortune overnight and both these groups tend to have very high hive mortality with the resulting fallout affecting everyone around them. It's sad but as a basic rule of thumb I expect 50% of new beekeepers hives to be dead within 12 months. Before varoa it was possible to just throw a swarm in a box and provided you avoided AFB most of the time they would often survive for years. Nowadays if you don't have time to look after your hives at the right time in the right way they will die. Strewth even when you do everything right you still lose some.

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1 hour ago, Bees said:

Did you have the new queens just in nucs and they swarmed from there....or did you rehouse them into hive boxes?

Swarmed from nuc boxes. The same would have happened if they ran out of room in a 10 frame box.  if the colony runs out of room It will swarm with a new queen.

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19 minutes ago, dansar said:

Swarmed from nuc boxes. The same would have happened if they ran out of room in a 10 frame box.  if the colony runs out of room It will swarm with a new queen.

10 days ago I put a box with a queen right hive on a queen less hive , I put it over a queen excluder and paper and a stick under the box  it for a top entrance.

Today I removed the excluder and a quick glance in the top box showed me the queen had laid to the edge.

I rearranged the boxes but the other two boxes are full of pollen and honey .

Should I take some out and put in foundation . That will still not give her anywhere immediately to lay .

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4 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

10 days ago I put a box with a queen right hive on a queen less hive , I put it over a queen excluder and paper and a stick under the box  it for a top entrance.

Today I removed the excluder and a quick glance in the top box showed me the queen had laid to the edge.

I rearranged the boxes but the other two boxes are full of pollen and honey .

Should I take some out and put in foundation . That will still not give her anywhere immediately to lay .

Is the a nectar flow coming in? Adding foundation frames may be worse than putting in the honey pollen ones as the bees can move the honey around to make room for the queen, also feed to new grubs. If there are enough bees it might pay to put another box on anyway to give them space and something to work on.

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Pleasant day in new plymouth ,all the town hives are cranking  with between 2 and 3 boxes  of brood and some have almost finished capping the first super ,lots of cabbage tree in flower and heaps of dandelion, unfortunatley had to feed almost all the hives in the country but looks like kamahi is going to crank up very soon .three weeks ago the country hives had quite a bit of dandelion stored but the bees have eaten it all

Edited by Santa
Wrong place it should be in november diary

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1 hour ago, dansar said:

Is the a nectar flow coming in? Adding foundation frames may be worse than putting in the honey pollen ones as the bees can move the honey around to make room for the queen, also feed to new grubs. If there are enough bees it might pay to put another box on anyway to give them space and something to work on.

There is a double FD brood box and a super above the excluder.

There is a big kamahi flow but we have had 4 days of cloud and no wind.

I will monitor the situation , I would hate her to run out of room and swarm .

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Can't say for your situation, however we have had 2 swarms each season come thru our property in town. not far from orchards. Guess is the swarms are coming from there. Last one arrived last week, moved right on into an empty box with dry frames I was about to work on, had it sitting on peice of 4x2 for air. Took 40 mins for the whole crew to settle in. Lovely queen and man what a size, certainly don't say NO to visitors that want to stay.

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