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Two questions re an artificial swarm in tbh with periscope

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House Bee

Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 11
Location: somerset, uk

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 7:26 pm    Post subject: Two questions re an artificial swarm in tbh with periscope Reply with quote

Please help!
We have a very strong colony in a hTBH that had laid down some queen cells (one capped and a number of others with eggs but still uncapped. So we moved the queen with about 5-6 bars containing brood and honey into a second, unused hive. The new hive has an eco-floor and a periscope entrance.
The original colony is going great guns...out foraging and all seems well with them.
The new hive is chucking out dead bees (initially mostly drones it seemed), the flying bees left almost immediately. They seemed to be falling down out of the periscope rather than climbing down the wall. Those that didn't fly away immediately didn't seem to know how to get back into the hive. So we took out the plug from an opening at the base of the periscope. Today I was thrilled to see that there were some bees that have graduated to become foragers and entering the hive via the lower opening.
Two questions
1) should we have/do we need to feed them, provide water or just let them get on with it?
2) should we replug the lower opening in hopes that they can find their way up the periscope to the upper entrance hole?
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee

Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bees produce swarm cells with the intention of leaving the hive with the old queen to look for a new home, moving the queen with brood to a new home does not imitate a swarm, as in the wild they do not take brood with them, also when moving bees artificially they have not filled up on honey/stores as they would when naturally swarming, so in those instances yes I would feed,

when moving bees along the lines of an artificial swarm, lots of bees are needed, as foragers will fly back to the parent hive, you therefore need lots of house bees to be left to build new comb,

heres my conventional hive having an A/S carried out on it
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House Bee

Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 11
Location: somerset, uk

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dexter's shed!
That make a lot of sense. Of course they wouldn't have brood with them so they wouldn't have that extra stress.
Since I haven't had any other responses (v disappointed about that since this is the area of the forum for newbees like me!) I went ahead and gave them some food.
The weather has been quite cold and windy since we createed the split so I feel pretty good about that.
Your answer seems to support my decision so thanks again.

Is it just me? I have listed a few things and had no reply. Should the monitors not be giving even the most basic answers to all posts?
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Silver Bee

Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When tranferring the comb from the current hive to a new hive the comb will have had both foragers and nurse bees on it. When put into the new hive the foragers will all go back to the old hive which may not leave enough bees to look after the brood. When doing a split such as this (as I would call it more of a split than an artificial swarm) it is best to shake a few combs of bees from the old hive into the new hive to ensure you have enough nurse bees. With regards to feeding even though they don't have active foragers they you have given them stores so personally I would think they would be ok.

If you would like to more readily simulate a swarm depending on the size of the colony you could get a three way split!
1. Collect the queen and leave her in the old hive.
2. Split the brood and stores between the two new hives ensuring each has a queen cell or minimally young brood to raise a queen from. Shake a comb or two of young bees into the old hive as there are better wax producers.
3. All the foragers will now return to the old hive with the current queen.

This will more closely resemble a swarm as the foragers and queen are broodless. In this case you would certainly have to feed this colony as they will not have taken honey with them on their artificial swarm. A 1:1 sugar solution made into nettle tea has been shown to be very effective.
best of luck, and please remember that this isn't a job for anyone, people contribute to this forum out of a desire to help others. If your enquires haven't been given the attention you feel they deserve I am certain it wasn't intentional. This forum and all its contributors have been an invaluable source of help to me over the years.
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