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Artificial Swarms Only Safe Near The Swarming Season


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.


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.

Next: Natural And Artificial Swarms Equally Prosperous

Previous: A Successful Method

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