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Swarm control without splitting

I’m in my second year of beekeeping and started with one flowhive, I now have 9 hives consisting of a mix of flow and poly langstroth hives.
Beekeeping is a hobby for me and I don’t want any more hives so was wondering is there an excepted way of preventing swarms without spilling one hive into two ?
Is it acceptable to remove a couple of frames of mixed brood, remove the bees and place those frames into another hives honey super and fit a top entrance so any drones that hatch can get out above the queen excluder.
Those brood frames coul

d then be replaced with new foundation allowing more room in the doner hive.
Some of my hives are in a small village with neighbors but I also have access to 100 acres of bush about 3 klms away, I found what appeared to be two swarms in my garden a few days ago, I managed to box both but was very worried about my neighbors and don’t want to deal with this again…any ideas ?

Hi Snapper (Porgy in America), you can remove frames of brood to bolster weaker colonies, that’s for sure. Inevitably you’ll need to make more colonies to prevent swarming.

Alternatively you can remove brood frames & feed the brood to chooks, for example. You can even use it as Hachinoko. I’ve done that in the past.

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I agree totally with Jeff but can’t you ‘export’ from the island to the mainland hives made up of disease free bees or nucs?, I would think you have a ready market in the Adelaide area. I know you can’t ‘import’ there.
Cheers

What is hachinoko ? Cream of brood soup ?

Hi Peter,
I could do that but I think I will check with some local pros and unload to them as they lost lots of hives last summer…hope you are well mate
Regards Brian

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You could just split and merge them later in the season while picking the best queen. However, if the pros are down on hives there may be a ready market there for you.

Cheers
Rob.

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Thanks Rob, when you get time can you tell me how to merge two colonies.
Thanks and regards snapper

The easiest way to merge is the news paper method. Select which hive has the best queen and with it in place with the roof off spread a sheet of newspaper covering the top of the super. for the exercise call it hive1.
Terminate the queen in hive2 and place the brood box onto the news paper having taken it off the base board, so it looks like you have added a super to hive1, then on the top add the super from hive2 if there is one, then fit a roof. By the time the bees chew thru the newspaper they will be accepted as a part of hive1 with no fighting. You might want to keep the super on as the bee colony will be super strong in numbers fill they begin to die out to a single queen sized hive.
If you can sell of excess splits locally so much the better Brian. Over here there is a big demand for them.
I’m going well and keeping busy, building up my hive numbers and with recent rain the bees are working the flowers hard after a very dry 12 months. Heaps of flower but no nectar till I finally got some really good rain.
Cheers Brian.

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Thanks Peter appreciate your help and glad you are well
Regards
Brian

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This year after a split I have 2 hives which are building strongly.
There is no sign of swarming and I do not expect there will be till next Spring if they do want.
As my nearest neighbour is over 1 1/2 kms away my intention is to let the hives do their thing and if they want to swarm let them. It won’t be a bother to the neighbours and I will have a fresh, young queen in my hive.
Anything wrong with this thinking?

Hi Busso, the main drawback would be if the colony issued after-swarms. Even without an after-swarm, you’ve still lost half the bees. Then there is the risk of the new queen failing to get mated.

When I do preemptive splits, I remove way less than half the bees. That way you stop the colony from swarming while it still remains strong enough to still produce some honey. Then if the split doesn’t make a new queen, you still have the old queen’s brood you can draw from to donate to that failed queen split.

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That makes sense Jeff. I just see all these bee hives multiplying. :astonished:
Maybe I will modify my thinking to what you say…but ummmmmhh
or not… Something for me to think about over next Winter.

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Having “all these hives multiplying” is not a bad problem to have. They are very saleable. Extra money never goes astray.

An alternative would be to feed the brood to chooks after you render the wax out.

PS @busso, if one was going to prevent a colony from swarming by removing brood to feed to chooks, for example, there wouldn’t be the need for foundation. You could simply use foundationless frames.

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I agree with Jeff and I’m very pro active in doing splits to reduce the risk of swarming. At my apiary the bush is so dense a swarm is lost forever leaving a weakened hive.
A split is a very saleable item to more than cover your costs and time, either as a nuc or have it build up to be a full complete hive.
Cheers

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Inspecting the last of my home site hives today I was greeted with a very full hive and decided to try a second brood box rather than split.
This hive has a f/d brood,an ideal or half for making comb honey and a flow 2 on top.
Somehow the queen had gone through a new steel excluder at the start of spring and my comb ideal was full of drone and worker brood, she was also laying in the bottom brood box and the hive is full and more hatching.
So as much as I don’t like double brood boxes I’ve gone down that road. Spotted 3 cups but no queen cells,bees only just starting to use the new flow super

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Wow, that queen is a ripper, as @JeffH would say! Lovely photos too. Thanks for sharing. :blush:

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Ok, so then I spend 5 minutes looking for the queen before it clicks… Thanks. :face_with_monocle:
Certainly a healthy colony alright, not sure just adding an extra box will stop swarming though. If it did, how high would that stack be in a few years. :woozy_face:

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Maybe the bees are thinking, “We shoot for the moon. Not because it is easy, but because it is hard!” :rofl:

OK, I am jet-lagged, sleep-deprived and a little whacky. But what is new, right? :blush:

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I guess I’ll find out soon enough if it stops a swarm and I’m hoping at the end of summer I can pack them down before I need to hire a crane!

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