Swarm Control: Cautionary Tale

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    • #2952
      David Jones

      A cautionary tale as a follow up to last night’s excellent meeting (thanks David):

      I arrived at the apiary today just in time to see the swarm leave the hive!  My subsequent attempts to recapture it is a fun story for another day; this is a lesson in swarm (lack of) control

      On 19th April, we carried out the nucleus method of swarm control – as described last night by David – by the book (or so I thought).  We returned a week after removing the queen, shook the bees from every frame, poured over every nook and cranny, and removed every possible queen cell, leaving only our one selected prime cell.  What could go wrong?  Only when I got home today (after several hours of fun trying to rescue the situation), fuming about bees not reading books, did I check my records, and realise that we removed the queen on a Sunday and then went back for the excess swarm cells “a week” later… on SATURDAY.  Eggs laid on the 19th of April, just before we removed the queen, will have hatched on the 22nd April and would still have been (just) viable candidates for emergency queen cells on the 25th – which is when we did our sweep of the frames – giving the very strong colony an excuse for a cast swarm today, and me rather more than my one hour of allotted exercise time.  What a drip.  Lesson: first read the book, then do what it says!


      • This topic was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by David Jones.
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