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 departsLack of resources, unacceptable accommodations, parasites…Reproductive SwarmsNatures way of prosperingNot enough room
4 Conditions that Promote Swarming Decrease queen pheromoneLast years queenCongestionLack of open cells in the brood nest for the queen to lay eggsCrowding – bees, nectar, and pollenEnvironmental conditionsResources -Abundance of nectar and pollenWeather - Sunny, warm, calmGenetic strain
6 Timing Swarm SeasonDrone brood rearing begins 4-6 weeks prior to swarming4 weeks after dandelion bloom starts(This year dandelion bloom started mid January)Apple blossom peakThe warm calm day after the bees have been cooped up due to inclement weatherSwarming usually coincides with relatively good foraging periods and tends to occur from March to June, with a peak in early AprilLast frost in Concord was end of February
7 Swarming is EminentIf 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 cellsIf you destroy all the queen cells you may end up with no queen.Does not prevent swarmingIs labor intensiveYour colony may need one of those queensDOES prevent secondary swarms
8 Successful Swarm Prevention starts before you see queen cells Provide room for the queen to lay within the brood nestProvide room for pollen and nectarProvide the equivalent of 2 deeps for brood
9 Swarm Prevention Methods (queen staying with brood) Caging the queen - breaks the brood cycleAdd drawn comb in the brood area (Checker Boarding)Reversing brood boxesDo keep brood together with room to move upDon’t if it splits the broodMove frames of brood and nurse bees to a weaker colony replace with empty drawn comb
10 Checker BoardingDeep 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 seasonUseful technique for Top Bar HivesJ. 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 checkerboardingJ. 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 SnelgroveSet up is same as Snelgrove without SBQueen 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 spaceMaintains all the bees at full strength in the hive,Ultimately reunite as one colony with a new queenDo 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 SnelgroveThe 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 daysQ larva are fed royal jelly all 8 daysvirgin Q’s mating flight(s)after 4 days oldLaying Queen
17 Metamorphosis of the Queen Bee Egghatches on Day 3Larva (several moltings)Day 3 to Day 8 1⁄2Queen cell capped~ Day 7 1⁄2Pupa~ Day 8 until emergenceEmergence~Day 15 1⁄2 - Day 17Nuptial Flight(s)~DayEgg Laying~Day 23 and up
18 Snelgrove Method Benefits Queen continues to lay freelyColony size is maintainedForaging force is maintainedNew queen is createdMinimal beekeeper labor
19 Snelgrove - Method I Day 1 – Rearrange the hive (a vertical split) Box ACombs containing Brood with adhering bees, (youngest brood in the center capped brood to the sides) with sufficient pollen and honeyBox BBroodless mostly empty combs with adhering beesOne comb with a little unsealed broodThe Queen
20 Snelgrove - Method I Day 1 - continued Build the hive in the following orderBottom board, Box(s) B, Excluder, Super(s), Box(s) ADay 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 hiveOpen only one top entrance(left side)Day 7-8Close top left entrance and open bottom left entranceOpen 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 sideOpen top entrance on backIf 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 IAn 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 BThere has been no break in the brood cycleColony size has been maintainedA new queen is available to re-queen the colony or use elsewhereThe 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 elsewhereUse the paper method if a new queen was producedRaise a new colony from the top boxOnce 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 location1 frame - the old queen with brood, honey, and pollen (no queen cells)Drawn comb or foundationMove the parent hive to a new locationBrood, honey and pollenWait 1-3 days then introduce fertile queenIf they have to make their own queen you will loose 2-3 weeks of brood productionMay need to rebalance the number of foragers or brood in the hives