How do commercials manage swarming?

Welcome to NZ Beekeepers+
Would you like to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up
1
0
Central Otago
Experience
Hobbyist
For myself with a small number of hives I split everything to make up for any losses and sell the rest to a few friends to make up their losses.

Operations with 100s, 1000s or 10,000+ hives I don't imagine splitting everything is possible. How do these operations manage this without loosing all their bees to swarms?
 

Alastair

Founder Member
Platinum
8,353
9,626
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
If you find the answer, please let me know 😊.

Seriously though, it very much depends where you are. I see your location as central Otago, are your hives in clover feilds, or what sort of country?
 
5,680
6,186
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
We never have a swarming issue.
Wecome out of the winter with two or three frames of brood, and keep knocking em back as we split and even and make up duds til mid november, when most hives are steaming along with five or six sealed frames ready to hatch.
We then move the bees to their summer locations and pile em up with three or four empty boxes.
The space above the queen excluder knocks the swarm urge out of them.
Any thing in the spring that is really strong is allowed to expand into a second brood box and then split right on the honey flow….. box with the queen taken to a new location while the queenless box full of sealed brood is given a queen cell and boxed up with three empty honey boxes.
 
8,606
5,057
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
For myself with a small number of hives I split everything to make up for any losses and sell the rest to a few friends to make up their losses.

Operations with 100s, 1000s or 10,000+ hives I don't imagine splitting everything is possible. How do these operations manage this without loosing all their bees to swarms?

simply put you normally do not loose hives to swarming. somethings really gone badly if you loose the hive completely.
typically for a commercial is loss of bee numbers means you do not get much production from that hive which makes it uneconomic.
so a lot of effort goes into swarm control.

if your loosing more than 10% of your hives each season then you really need to look at why.
 


Top