Last Ditch Effort: Artificial Swarm of PW Hive

No doubt about it, the Purple/White hive (a split from the Blue/Purple hive earlier this spring) have been trying to swarm.

I knew that they were up to something when I saw the first swarm cell created and filled with jelly back in May.

Each week since I had scrapped off queen cells, re-arranged boxes/frames and even removed frames and switched them with empty drawn out frames from another hive hoping to discourage them from swarming.

Every 5 days they proved to me they were serious in trying to swarm by rebuilding the swarm cells.

Checking each frame in a hive every five days was getting exhausting!

When I opened the hive today and pulled the first super frame and noticed a half dozen filled swarm cells on the bottom of it, I knew I was never going to win this battle.

I put the frame back, and examined the rest of the frames in the hive making mental note of where the swarm cells were, their size and age of them.

I had decided an artificial swarm was going to be my last attempt at preventing a full blown swarm.

I went back and scraped off all queen cells except two. I chose to keep the two that were on the same frame, that were side by side, uncapped, fairly similar in age and had larva and jelly in them.

For my own reference, the left most frame below in the top brood box is the one with the two swarm cells I chose to keep.

Below is a close up of the cells. I kept the one jutting out to the right at a 45* angle, and the one just above it in a more traditional "straight down" design.

Then I found the old queen, and moved her and 5 frames into a spare nuc box. Below you can see the Purple/White hive and it's artificial swarm sitting next to it.

I didn't really want to expand the apiary past 3 hives at the moment, but the idea of having a nuc as insurance in-case I need a queen in the next few months sounded like a good idea.

Comments For This Post: (1) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Anonymous says...
Date:   June 19, 2012, 11:10 am

Any concern about too many bee's migrating to the old queen/nuc with it being right next to the old hive ?

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