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Swarm Prevention Why When How.

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Presentation on theme: "Swarm Prevention Why When How."— Presentation transcript:

1 Swarm Prevention Why When How

2 Why Control Swarming Keep backyard beekeeping socially acceptable
Honey for the bees and the beekeeper

3 Types of Swarms Absconding Swarms Reproductive Swarms
The whole colony departs Lack of resources, unacceptable accommodations, parasites… Reproductive Swarms Natures way of prospering Not enough room

4 Conditions that Promote Swarming
Decrease queen pheromone Last years queen Congestion Lack of open cells in the brood nest for the queen to lay eggs Crowding – bees, nectar, and pollen Environmental conditions Resources -Abundance of nectar and pollen Weather - Sunny, warm, calm Genetic strain


6 Timing Swarm Season Drone brood rearing begins 4-6 weeks prior to swarming 4 weeks after dandelion bloom starts (This year dandelion bloom started mid January) Apple blossom peak The warm calm day after the bees have been cooped up due to inclement weather Swarming usually coincides with relatively good foraging periods and tends to occur from March to June, with a peak in early April Last frost in Concord was end of February

7 Swarming is Eminent If you see capped queen cells the colony has most likely swarmed. If there are queen cells and no eggs the colony has likely swarmed. Cutting out queen cells If you destroy all the queen cells you may end up with no queen. Does not prevent swarming Is labor intensive Your colony may need one of those queens DOES prevent secondary swarms

8 Successful Swarm Prevention starts before you see queen cells
Provide room for the queen to lay within the brood nest Provide room for pollen and nectar Provide the equivalent of 2 deeps for brood

9 Swarm Prevention Methods (queen staying with brood)
Caging the queen - breaks the brood cycle Add drawn comb in the brood area (Checker Boarding) Reversing brood boxes Do keep brood together with room to move up Don’t if it splits the brood Move frames of brood and nurse bees to a weaker colony replace with empty drawn comb

10 Checker Boarding Deep frames fill in 2-3 days so 2 frames every 4-6 days? Too many empty frames on a cold night, bees can’t cover brood, brood die. Labor intensive and need extra frames of empty drawn comb. Start 2 months prior and repeat until end of to swarm season Useful technique for Top Bar Hives J. Zawislak graphic S.J. Repasky

11 YES NO Reversing Brood Boxes J. Zawislak graphic S.J. Repasky
Still helps to break up honey cap by checkerboarding J. Zawislak graphic S.J. Repasky

12 After using the preceding techniques to build a strong colony, Preempt the Swarm
Separate the brood from the queen. A "true" swarm has an old queen, 20,000 or so workforce of bees of all ages, and no comb. An artificial swarm is typically the foragers, the old queen, and empty comb.

13 Swarm Prevention Methods (separate queen from brood)
Splits or nucs (see resources) Demaree - preceded Snelgrove Set up is same as Snelgrove without SB Queen cells are removed, Every 7 days brood frames are moved up to top box and additional Queen cells are removed (see resources) Double Screen aka Snelgrove Board (SB) Provides the queen with extra laying space Maintains all the bees at full strength in the hive, Ultimately reunite as one colony with a new queen Do not have to manipulate the hive after Day 1

14 Double Screen Board aka Snelgrove Board
Better Bee Inc. 10 Frame Double Screen DSC1 Starting at $17.45 Swarming: Its Control and Prevention $29.95 by L E Snelgrove The bees’ scent and heat pass through the entire hive via a patch of mesh in the center of the Snelgrove board, however the queen pheromones do not.

15 Snelgrove Board 3 (4) pairs of entrances
Each pair has an entrance above and below the board

16 Honey Bee Brood Development
All larva are fed royal jelly the first 3 days Q larva are fed royal jelly all 8 days virgin Q’s mating flight(s) after 4 days old Laying Queen

17 Metamorphosis of the Queen Bee
Egg hatches on Day 3 Larva (several moltings) Day 3 to Day 8 1⁄2 Queen cell capped ~ Day 7 1⁄2 Pupa ~ Day 8 until emergence Emergence ~Day 15 1⁄2 - Day 17 Nuptial Flight(s) ~Day Egg Laying ~Day 23 and up

18 Snelgrove Method Benefits
Queen continues to lay freely Colony size is maintained Foraging force is maintained New queen is created Minimal beekeeper labor

19 Snelgrove - Method I Day 1 – Rearrange the hive (a vertical split)
Box A Combs containing Brood with adhering bees, (youngest brood in the center capped brood to the sides) with sufficient pollen and honey Box B Broodless mostly empty combs with adhering bees One comb with a little unsealed brood The Queen

20 Snelgrove - Method I Day 1 - continued
Build the hive in the following order Bottom board, Box(s) B, Excluder, Super(s), Box(s) A Day 4 (It just works better to wait a few days to add the SB, it is not about the nurse bees) Place Snelgrove Board (SB) under Box A, the edge without entrances towards the front of the hive Open only one top entrance(left side) Day 7-8 Close top left entrance and open bottom left entrance Open top right entrance (opposite side of hive) Look for queen cells in Box A remove all but the best ones for requeening this colony or developing a second colony

21 Snelgrove - Method I Day 14-15 Close top entrance on right side
Open bottom entrance on right side Open top entrance on back If there are queen cells you can allow a new queen to emerge and mate (leave the top back entrance open until you know you have a lying queen) Then either start a nuc or requeen the hive. Method II is used if Q cells are present

22 Snelgrove - Method I An artificial swarm was created with the old queen and all the field bees in Box B. The queen has been able to continue laying, field bees have been repeatedly diverted from Box A to Box B There has been no break in the brood cycle Colony size has been maintained A new queen is available to re-queen the colony or use elsewhere The timings of the entrance manipulations are only critical when using the technique to raise one or more new queens.

23 Separating the brood from the queen leads to the production of multiple emergency queen cells.
If the bees are naturally due to swarm, then the queens raised will generally be good ones. If the procedure is performed too early in the season, the emergency cells are more likely to result in poor queens.

24 Now What? Reunite the colony and re-queen or use the new queen elsewhere Use the paper method if a new queen was produced Raise a new colony from the top box Once the queen is mated and laying, the top box can be relocated to form a new, separate colony.

25 Basic Swarm Prevention Split
On the original hive location 1 frame - the old queen with brood, honey, and pollen (no queen cells) Drawn comb or foundation Move the parent hive to a new location Brood, honey and pollen Wait 1-3 days then introduce fertile queen If they have to make their own queen you will loose 2-3 weeks of brood production May need to rebalance the number of foragers or brood in the hives

26 Taranov 4 inches

27 Swarm Bandit Orr Bee Supply or Brushy Mountain Bee Supply


29 Resources Splits - Demaree – Double Screen Board - Swarming: It’s Control and Prevention by L. E. Snelgrove Swarm Essentials: Ecology, Management, Sustainability by Stephen J. Repasky Taranov-

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