NigelP wrote: ↑
13 Jan 2020, 09:38
My readings have shown, that interestingly, in a natural swarm their is a disproportionate number of young bees compared to the hives older bees.i.e the vast majority of bees in a swarm are very young bees. ............................Which is interesting as it turns our usual thoughts about swarm controls on their head. i.e queen with flying bees to imitate a a"natural" swarm.
On the face of it you are reinforcing my thought that an artificial swarm control is not mimicing anything natural and is actually quite disruptive, especially if you leave it as split and don't try to equalize (which I have already explained is tricky in my close linear layout).
Forget varroa - it was just an afterthought because my autumn treatment often leaves me borderline by mid-spring and I am not prepared to do MAQ's except in an emergency - too stressful. On a similar vein, I am not enamoured with the oxalic treatment in winter because I don't like to disturb the winter cluster (if we really have one these days of changing weather patterns). The solution is half treatment before the first super goes on, or put the first super on and keep it permanently out of the food chain - could a good candidate for also being the last super that I always leave on when I take the main honey off first week in August - I'll give that some more thought.
My thinking was that I'd go for a shook swarm as a way of getting them on fresh foundation, get them working and put all ideas of swarming out of their little minds. The trouble is the timing has to be exactly right because it needs to trip them over the point at which they think its really a bit late to swarm - we'll go next year (a method expounded by Kenneth Clark in his 1950's book) but I realise I could be too reliant on the bees cooperation. Too early and they will just build up and swarm anyway.
I see Adam has written at length on shook swarm so better get the kettle on and settle down with a cup tea in hand