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Pre-swarm split - how many swarm cells to leave?

 
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JD88
New Bee


Joined: 01 May 2016
Posts: 6
Location: Guilford, Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:56 pm    Post subject: Pre-swarm split - how many swarm cells to leave? Reply with quote

I am in my second season. My one hive survived winter and has grown rapidly and produced 5 uncapped swarm cells with larva.

I moved the resident queen to a new hive along with 2 bars of capped brood, 2 bars of nectar and one bar of pollen.

My question concerns the original hive that now has 5 potential queens. Do I leave all 5 swarm cells alone and let the bees decide which one will be the new queen, or should I reduce the number of queen cells to 1 or 2 to prevent cast swarms. I am not interested in expanding beyond 2 hives if possible.

Thank you for any advice on this.
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 301
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would raise a couple of queens in a queen rearing hive by removing two of the cells and leave one behind.

That way if either Q fails you have spares and someone else you know may need one,

You can't have too many queens. . . .
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JD88
New Bee


Joined: 01 May 2016
Posts: 6
Location: Guilford, Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. Thanks. I will do that. if I dont end up using the queen, I can recombine at the end of the season
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MikeRobinson
Foraging Bee


Joined: 01 Apr 2012
Posts: 200
Location: Upper Northwest Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... whereas, I would simply leave the bees to their business. Split the hive and let each hive re-establish its own new balance however it wants to. I'm not going to try to "manage" the situation for them. In due time, one of the queens will prevail. Simply by splitting the hive you have already greatly reduced their urge to swarm: in effect, "you did it for them." If one or the other of the hives decides to swarm anyway, simply offer them a convenient nearby empty-hive for their consideration as a new place of residence. They are quite likely to select it.

I have several active hives that started out as empty ones, complete with a "FOR RENT" sign. Soon enough, I saw bees flying in and out of them. I didn't do anything to persuade them (or, force them) to occupy the residence. They did it on their own.
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 301
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference in approach here is one of scale.

Zero intervention and low intervention.

I practice the later as my hives are in an area where I cannot let them become a nuisance to humans so sometimes I am forced into managing them.

Both options are valid. Smile
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jetam
House Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 22
Location: Slovakia/Prievrana

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Pre-swarm split - how many swarm cells to leave? Reply with quote

Do I leave all 5 swarm cells alone and let the bees decide which one will be the new queen...

don´t do this. Bees can´t decide which queen should remain. The first one that crawl out from cell will go looking for other queen cells in orther to kill competitive.
If two or more new born queens meet up in the hive the mortal combat starts. During this might be killed or damaged one or all of them.
Check the capped queen cells properly, choose the most beautiful and the biggest one. The rest just squash. Sad sad but better than risk to lost queen.
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Adriaan
Guard Bee


Joined: 18 Jan 2016
Posts: 92
Location: central Belgium

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Jetam: just leave 1 big beautiful queencell.

In Holland where I was first thought beekeeping they had the so called 'Aalster beekeepingmethode'. It was based on making splits in spring, letting several young queens hatch and sort things out for themselves. In the autumn the two hives got reunited again. ( mind you this was before varroa and winterlosses were at a minimum).

After several decades of doing this the bees got more and more aggressive because every generation the most aggressive queen survived.

friendly greetings

Adriaan
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 301
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could also move the other four Q cells, some stores and a cup of nurse bees into four two frame NUCs or an Apidea type hives and raise Qs to give away or sell.
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