Swarm prevention and spitting

It’s spring and a week ago I did my rounds checking if hives were preparing to swarm. 7 hives were looking as if they were on the verge and I internal split them using the Demaree method.

Hive ready to split
Hive ready to split

The weather looked good yesterday, just before a cool change. So I went around to check all the hives I had split to check the top box for queen cells and destroy them. And yes, there were some.

If you don’t destroy the queens, and they develop, and you have a queen excluder in place, you may end up with a unfertilized queen in the top box that will lay only drone eggs. If there is no queen excluder in place then you run the risk of the virgin queens going out, mating and coming back and killing your queen.

Later this week I’ll choose strong hives to make two hives in the same hive stack using a variation of a Snelgove Board which I purchased from Whirrakee Woodware.

Snelgove Board
Variation of Snelgrove Board

I’ll slip the Snelgrove Board under the top box of a hive I previously split, add a new queen and a frame feeder. I’ll then open an entrance that is a different direction to the entrance of the hive below and hey presto you have a new hive. The wire mesh is a double layer so that the bees from each hive do not touch and the two hives will coexist.

I’ll leave the top hive to develop and strengthen before taking it off and relocating it elsewhere.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Tony Wilsmore

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