Swarm management


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Honeybee swarm management

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Swarm management

  1. 1. Swarm Management:Are You Winning TheBattle?Clarence H. CollisonEntomologistMississippi State University
  2. 2. Natural Instinctive Desire To Increase Their NumbersAsexual Reproduction At The Colony Level
  3. 3. Twice The Chance OfSurvivalForm Of Population Control
  4. 4. Swarming Response RelatedTo Many Internal And External Conditions
  5. 5. Level Of QueenSubstance Is LowNot EfficientlyDistributed In TheColony
  6. 6. Queen CupQueen Cell
  7. 7. Generally An OlderQueen Produces LessQueen Substance ThanA Younger Queen
  8. 8. Congestion Primary Factor That Initiates Swarming Interferes With Queen Substance Distribution Stimulates Queen Cup Building
  9. 9. Queen Age Colonies With A Queen Of The Current Season Rarely Swarm By The Second Season, The Chance Of Swarming Greatly Increases Colonies Headed By A Two Year Old Queen Swarm More Than Twice As Much As Colonies With A One-Year Old Queen
  10. 10. When Colonies Are StrongAnd Are DevelopingRapidly, A Period Of GoodWeather After Some BadWeather Accentuates The“Swarming Fever.”
  11. 11. Other Factors that May Affect Swarming Imbalance In The Age Structure Of The Colony, i.e. Too Many Nurse Bees Too Little Laying Space For The Queen Too Many Drones Poor Ventilation
  12. 12. When Does Swarming Occur?Kentucky- Mid April To Mid May (Peak) 1 March to 1 JuneIthaca, NY (6 Year Study) Starts May 15 Peaks June 5-10 By July 15, 80% Done July 15-August 15, Almost No Swarming August 15-September 15, 20%Maryland- Swarming Begins One Month Earlier
  13. 13. Fall Swarming- A Real Mystery In The North They Will Not Survive Is It An Accident? May Be A Way Of Getting Rid Of Excess Populations
  14. 14. Routine Of Instinctive Activities 4-6 Weeks Of Preparation Before It Occurs Construction Of Queen Cups (First Clue) Made Of Old Beeswax (Brown) Whiting Of Queen Cups (New Wax Added) Cups Slightly Enlarged Eggs Laid In Cups
  15. 15. Queen Is Put On A DietEfficiency Of Colony Begins To Decline
  16. 16. Looses 1/3 –1/2 HerBody Weight In 8-10DaysSlims Down So She CanFly
  17. 17. Queen Decreases Her Egg Laying
  18. 18. Some Workers Begin To Engorge On Honey CausesA Large Number Of Wax Glands To Develop So Comb Construction Can Begin Immediately After Swarming
  19. 19. Engorgement Discourages Foraging (Poor Colony Morale) Forces Scout Bees To Stop Scouting For Food And Start Looking For A New Home Site Encourages Congestion Foraging Stops
  20. 20. Too Late !!
  21. 21. One Last Chance
  22. 22. DecisionTime
  23. 23. Happings Back At The Hive Have Several Queen Cells Queen Emerges, May Kill Some Of Them Secondary Swarms May Leave With A New Queen Queen Flies With The Afterswarm Tend To Stay Clustered Longer May Swarm Until Only A Handful Of Bees Are Left
  24. 24. Attempt To Make AllColonies Productive
  25. 25. Moving Sealed Brood Switch Colony Positions
  26. 26. Booster PackagesUniting Weak Colonies
  27. 27. QueenNurse BeesField Bees
  28. 28. MakeIncreases/Splits