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Windward

Old queen and swarm

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My 2 thriving box hive keeps swarming.

 

First I took a 4 frame split including a couple of capped swarm cells, flipped the boxes and put empty frames in the top box to discourage swarming. 

 

12 days later the hive swarmed.

 

The first swarm with the old queen I caught and boxed 21 October. I checked today and couldn't see any eggs. Is she played out or is it that  the process of getting ready to decamp means she stops laying for a while? 

 

Several days after that there was a small cast swarm....only a cup full of bees out the front of the hive. Grabbed that and put in a nuc with a couple of frames of brood and supplies.

 

Today there was another large swarm which I also caught and boxed.

 

The double box hive has several capped and several opened swarm cells but I am hoping the new queen will sort out any further emerging queens?  Or am I being hopelessly optimistic?

 

 

 

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You’re being optimistic

 

Mulitple cells during swarm season means swarm (usually ) . 
 

It’s up to you to sort the extra cells out . 
 

 

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54 minutes ago, Windward said:

My 2 thriving box hive keeps swarming.

 

First I took a 4 frame split including a couple of capped swarm cells, flipped the boxes and put empty frames in the top box to discourage swarming. 

 

12 days later the hive swarmed.

 

The first swarm with the old queen I caught and boxed 21 October. I checked today and couldn't see any eggs. Is she played out or is it that  the process of getting ready to decamp means she stops laying for a while? 

 

Several days after that there was a small cast swarm....only a cup full of bees out the front of the hive. Grabbed that and put in a nuc with a couple of frames of brood and supplies.

 

Today there was another large swarm which I also caught and boxed.

 

The double box hive has several capped and several opened swarm cells but I am hoping the new queen will sort out any further emerging queens?  Or am I being hopelessly optimistic?

 

 

 

 

sounds like a lot of things have gone wrong.

 

one of the big things is stopping them getting into swarm mode in the first place. 

having an empty box underneath the brood tends to be a block. that means queen has no space in the one box she can use and the bees can't go up which is what they naturally prefer to do. thats put them straight into swarm mode and not much stops them once that happens. empty frames should have been in top box with a least a few frames of brood in the centre.

also if its thriving then 2 boxes may not have been enough room to start with as thats still quite a small hive.

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On reflection yes I probably should have had 3 full boxes. What I can't find out is whether the old queen usually stops laying for a time after swarming?

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7 hours ago, Windward said:

 What I can't find out is whether the old queen usually stops laying for a time after swarming?

The queen stops being fed and  laying prior to swarming to enable herself to shrink down so she is actually able to fly.. it may take a few days. 

Have you seen her with the swarm you caught? 

Often with multiple cells there is a virgin or two in the mix which are quick to dispatch the old mumma. 

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Back to basics.

The first step is to prevent the hive entering the "We are going to swarm" mode

Then an intervention such as an Artificial Swarm if they are in swarming mode.

 

Or they will swarm.

 

Look up how to do it my "Easy Bee Keeping for Hobbyists in NZ".

 

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I took the "hopelessly optimistic" route and my hive swarmed 4 times! Luckily they moved to my (very understanding) neighbors lemon tree and I managed to recapture each one.

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