Swarm Control 2
Strategy when unsealed queen cells are found during a routine inspection

Snelgrove's Method II - Procedure when the queen can be found.
Snelgrove's Method II
Unsealed queen cells are
seen and the queen found.
Into a new brood box place the queen, all the brood frames with their bees, and all frames with queen cells. Make up the box with spare frames.
In the original box place the combs without brood with their bees, and one comb of sealed brood (no grubs or eggs).
Rebuild the hive with the Snelgrove board below the top box with gate 1 open to allow the foragers to return to the lower box.
The bees in the top box loose their foragers and start to destroy the queen cells.
The queen in the top box starts to lay eggs.

On day 5 closing gate 1 and opening gate 2 ensures foragers augment the colony in the lower box. Open gate 3; new foragers learn to use this entrance. Close gate 2 in the late evening.

On day 6 or 7 the queen is found; she and the frame she is on are returned to the lower box.
The bees in the top box will now start to make new queen cells. If it is judged that there might not be sufficient bees to provide enough royal jelly, these cells may be destroyed. Or used to make nucs as described on the previous page.

Alternatively all queen cells can be destroyed and a queen cell from a breeder queen introduced with a view to requeening the colony below later in the season.
Snelgrove's Method II - Procedure when the queen cannot be found
This is not necessarily a problem. Provided it can be ensured that the queen is not on the frames of sealed brood that remains in the lower box. It can be assumed she is in the top box where she is meant to be.
On day 6 when the queen is returned to the lower box it will be much easier to find her especially if she is marked as the top box will be depleted of bees.
Snelgrove discovered his Method II by accident. He found unsealed queen cells before the colony had swarmed. He put the box with the brood and queen cells above the supers intending to do a conventional swarm control procedure, leaving the queen in the box below. However, in some cases he found that the queen had forced herself through the queen excluder and joined the brood and bees in the top box. Surprisingly he discovered that the bees started to destroy the queen cells on their own volition.

The Method essentially separates the queen and brood and house bees from the foragers so that the colony loses the ability to swarm.

In the final part of the procedure after the queen is returned to the box below a choice can be made as what to do with the bees in the top box.
Queen cells might be constructed in the top box from the newly laid eggs. It could be that these might produce inferior queens owing to the lack of nurse bees. In this case these queen cells should be destroyed. However, a queen cell from a breeder queen could be introduced with a view to requeening the colony in August.
If no increase is required, further gates changes can be make say at 5 day intervals to put the new foragers into the box below. When all the brood has emerged the top box can be removed.
Conventional Artificial Swarm Method
The Snelgrove board can also be used when it is desired to carry out the Artificial Swarm Method when unsealed queen cells are found during a routine inspection. In this case the queen cells are used to produce one, two or, three nucs.

If the queen cells are close to sealing, then it is important that the procedure is carried out at once and not to chance waiting for the following day when a queen cell might in the meanwhile have been sealed. Once this happens the bees go into swarm mode and will swarm eventhough the sealed queen cell is removed.
Artificial Swarm
Unsealed queen cells are seen and the queen found.
The queen and the frame of brood she is on is put into a new brood box. The box is filled with drawn frames with some stores.

The original box containing the frames with the queen cells is put over a Snelgrove board above the supers. A gate to the side is left open. Foraging bees will leave the top box and join the queen in the box below.

Depending on how many new queens are wanted, the top box can be divided to form 1, 2, or 3 nucs.
If only one new queen is required the top box is left undivided. After the new queen has mated, eggs might be seen after about 14 days.

This colony can now be left to build up. It can be used to replace the old queen below or separated later in the season as a new colony.
Next page: Swarm Control 3.
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