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Artificial Swarms Only Safe Near The Swarming Season

Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

By what I have said about artificial swarms, it would appear that it is

unsafe at any time but the swarming season; that is my opinion. It may

do a little in advance or a little after, providing royal cells can be

had. By feeding as directed, (in Chapter IX.) you may induce a stock to

send out a swarm some days in advance of the regular season, thereby

giving you a chance for these cells somewhat early.

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To make such swarms at any time when the bees are destroying drones,

would be extremely hazardous, not only on account of the young queen

being impregnated, but their massacre denotes a scarcity of honey.

Therefore I would advise never to make swarms, or drive out bees at

such periods, when it can be avoided, without spare honey is on hand to

feed them.


It has been argued by some, and with much reason, that "nature is the

best guide, and it is better to let the bees have their own way about

swarming--if honey is abundant, and the stock is in condition to spare

a swarm, their own instincts will teach them to construct royal cells;

if it fails before they are ready, and the royal brood is destroyed, it

is because the existence of the swarm would be precarious, and it is

best not to issue." I will grant that in many instances it is better.

The chance is better for surplus honey; the stock is quite sure to be

in condition to winter; and some judgment is required to tell when a

stock can spare a swarm.

But yet, we are sometimes anxious to increase our stocks to the utmost

that safety will allow, and often have some that can spare a swarm as

well as not, but refuse to leave; perhaps commence preparations, and in

a few days abandon them. Now it is evident that as long as many

continue such preparation, that honey is sufficiently abundant to put

the safety of the swarm beyond hazard; some stocks will swarm while

these others just as good, (that had abandoned it before) and have not

now begun again, to be in time before a partial failure of honey, and

some may not have commenced in season.