Swarming Inevitable?

I feel like I start al these posts out with the same “I opened the bees today”, but I haven’t got any better introduction figured out yet, so that’s all you get. I didn’t take any pictures of anything but there were a new color of drones in the hive today. And there were more than twice as many. The newer ones were more honey colored and had more fur on them. I liked them better than the ugly looking blue ones. Unfortunately however, I think they’re going to swarm. They’ve filled in the entire top box with honey and aren’t doing much to expand upwards brood-wise. And there’s almost no honey in the bottom box. Like, at all. There’s a good bit of pollen in the bottom box, but there’s really not much of that either. I found three swarm cells. By swarm cells I mean queen cups on the VERY edge of the frame. They didn’t have eggs in them yet, but I squished them anyway. I read the Supering part beekeeping book and found out that I should’ve put the super on probably a couple weeks ago. The urge to swarm has already been established because the bees have run out of upward space to expand into. I’m going to put the super on tonight and hope that the nectar flow the bees have been using to expand isn’t close to being done yet. I’m just not sure if I want to get rid of the foundation and allow the bees to draw things out how they want to. I’m not really sure what I should do though. I feel like putting the super on won’t really help, but my mom doesn’t want a second hive in the yard. I would split the current hive, incase that was unclear. For the moment though, all I can do is put the super on top of the current hive and hope the bees draw things out. I think I’ll leave the foundation in on the super. That way everything is consistent and I don’t have to worry about having different parts in one hive. *sigh*. I really hope they don’t swarm. I’ll get in big trouble with the city. I’m not too worried about the health of the colony though because they’re clearly going to be fine either way. I feel bad even asking about this, but wouldn’t killing the queen sort of solve the problem? The bees would make a new one and the almost month long pause in egg laying would reduce the population to a manageable size again. I know that’s really not the best option though. Uggggh. Wish me luck! Until next week then.

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2 responses to “Swarming Inevitable?”

  1. Emily Heath says :

    It’s a shame your mum won’t let you have two hives, beekeeping with two hives is much easier than with one. Yeah don’t be tempted to kill your queen at this time of the year, especially not if you don’t have a replacement queen ready. As you say it would take a month to get eggs again even if things went well and it’s late in the year for them to have time to build themselves up again ready for winter. It’s good that there’s lots in there 🙂 Wishing you luck for no swarm!

    Btw there is a method of swarm control using a piece of equipment called a Horsley Board (see http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/horsleybd.html) that allows you to do an artificial swarm and have two colonies on top of each other in one spot, might be a way to get round your mum’s rule!

    • willowbatel says :

      Yeah everyone says it’s better to have more than one hive in case of emergencies.
      Haha thanks. Did your bees swarm or figure out their queen problem yet?
      I like the idea of the two colony hive. You just take the separator out and the queens will settle things for themselves right? Or do you keep the excluder in and the colony goes on as two separate hives? I know they make more honey that way.

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