Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Bee Management: Thinking about Swarm Control

Bees have divided themselves. Swarm on the board is ready to put in a box.
We had three hives going into the winter and one didn't make it. Oddly, it wasn't the weakest hive.

We now have one strong hive and one weak one. The strong hive had a lot of drone cells last weak but no queen cells. This week we saw one uncapped queen cell with a developing larva. Since we keep Russian bees and they swarm easily we are going to keep a close watch the next few days and take action to simulate a swarm. That means either taking the old queen out with several frames of brood and bees and honey/pollen. Or trying something we just found out about -- a taranov split where the bees actually divide themselves.

It sounds crazy, but I checked out several articles on it and it sounds fascinating. Not only that, it seems like a more natural way since the bees choose for themselves whether to go back into the old hive or get ready to "swarm" into the new one.

If you're interested in this you can read about it at these urls:

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