OK - two of my hives are showing signs of possible swarming (one already did). I did inspect those hives early in spring- and gave them new frames and room with supers- but it looks like the bee numbers are exploding regardelss and that they will likely swarm. At the bee society last night many of the experienced beekeepers reported their hives have swarmed despite anti-swarming measures. It’s a swarm year again. I am strongly considering doing a taranov split- to simulate a natural swarm. Last night I watched this video of a demonstration of the split in the US:
it’s virtually a feature length movie- but it had a lot of good dialogue from the demonstrator Adam. Some interesting observations are made- notably you can clearly see that despite the seemingly radical step of taking out every single frame and dumping all the bees in the hive onto the ground- the bees never get angry. There are many people lounging about few wearing protective gear, the sky is full of bees- yet the bees are not angry and no-one gets stung. The bees really do seem to think they have swarmed and go directly into swarm mode.
Also I think the idea that that this method is the closest thing to a natural swarm is interesting- and the only method that actually divides up those bees that were going to swarm (nurse bees) from those that planned to stay (foragers). This creates a split that builds comb just like a swarm would: fast.
Also in the video Adam describes using a Snellgrove board variation to the taranov method that allows you to strengthen the original colony with foragers from the split, housed on top of the original colony and separated by the snellgrove board. A short term two queen hive…
He mentions that he has done this process over 20 times with complete success every time.
I’m convinced! At the least that this method has a place when swarming is imminent and other methods may be too late, quite difficult and possibly futile…
It’s also a marriage of laziness and utility. I’m a big fan of that!
So I will do a variation of this method on at least one of my hives over the next week.
I am wondering if there is anywhere in Australia I can buy a Snellgrove Board? If not I will do a walk away split- but would like to experiment with a snellgrove down the road if I can.
In the video Adam placed all new frames in the split colony- but I plan to place a few brood frames from the parent colony in there. I am hoping and expecting to see queen cells when I open it up.