Wednesday, 5 June 2013

My bees are swarming ALREADY?!

The colony in my back yard originated from a Nucleus this year. They have already built up to cover the entire brood box, and are building comb in the first super.

Today, I found queen cups on all frames containing brood, and some already had eggs in them. This usually means that in about 7-8 days time, a swarm will issue from the hive, carrying about half of the colony's workers and its queen, while the bees left behind rear a new queen to take over the colony. So I've come up with this action plan to control the swarming:

1) Split colony using my nuc box to carry the queen and some of the bees, replace frames with foundation
2) Wait for new queen to emerge and mate
3) Select either the new queen or old queen depending on how well mated the new queen is
4) Place nuc frames into brood box with the rest as new foundation frames
5) Unite over paper and convert to double-brood

The reason I've chosen to split and re-unite is because I don't currently have a Snelgrove board, which I'm still waiting on in the post. I'd just use that instead of doing a full-blown split, if I already had it. But, c'est la vie.

If you don't understand any of the jargon used here just ask about it in the comments if you like. ;)

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