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Swarming Control and Prevention

Notes on the Apiary Meeting of April 28th 2018

Swarming control is all about keeping your bees when you find queen cells being made. Swarm prevention is an attempt to stop or delay the swarming impulse.

As a beginner it can seem daunting, unfathomable or even intimidating, but the colony manipulations are all based on a simle set of rules.

  • Remember the basic life cycle of the queen and workers.
  • When moved, older flying bees will always fly back to the hive they know as home.
  • The colony may be thought of as consisting of three parts:
    The queen, the flying bees and the brood (including nurse bees). Separating one part from the other two will usually bring about a reduction of the swarming impulse.

As promised, Richard has put together some notes in the form of a PDF document which can be downloaded HERE.

Method 1 is for colonies where no queen cells have been found (swarm prevention) and Method 2 is for colonies where queen cells have been started (swarm control).

The diagram shows the layout of the Snelgrove board. The mesh is usually on both sides of the board to prevent physical contact of bees. The ‘doors’ need to be stiff to prevent accidental opening or closing. In Snelgrove’s design entrances were effected by cutting out a wedge. Pivoting doors have the advantage that they do not fall out, get detached or lost.

Snelgrove board

May is the time to carry out these types of hive manipulation as there is plenty of time for the resulting colonies to build up for the winter. You may even get a surplus.

Happy Beekeeping

 

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News & Events

BEE HEALTH DAY – Saturday 28th July 2018
The Kenn Centre, Exeter Road, Kennford, Devon EX6 7UE.Organised by Devon Beekeepers’ Association, Exeter Branch.

Sponsored by Bee Diseases Insurance Limited.

Visit http://www.devonbeekeepers.org.uk/ for further information. Places restricted to 60 so book early to be sure of a place.

Asian hornet information
The June edition of the BBKA News has extensive information about the Asian hornet threat. In particular, pages 209 and 210 have full colour reproductions of the Asian hornet alert document issued by the Non Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) for you to cut out and use as your personal guide to identification of this invasive species.
Get ready for Honiton Show
Download the Honiton Show schedule below and start planning your entries for the competition. Make sure you are ready for August 2nd:
EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides
More information can be found at:          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/27/eu-agrees-total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
LATEST ASIAN HORNET WARNING
The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of a single Asian hornet in Lancashire. More information can be found in the Defra Press release:   https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-identified-in-lancashire