Swarm Control 4
swarm control
If no increase is required, then all queen cells should be destroyed except one. The brood box is left on its stand and the new queen allowed to emerge and mate. New brood should be seen two to three weeks after emergence. The supers can remain in place, however, in view of the fact that it will take 6 weeks for new foragers to appear, it might be best to transfer any supers to other hives.

If, however, more than one colony is required then the brood box can be divided into 2 or 3 nucs. For this a Snelgrove board is used with gates 1, 3 and 5 as entrances () ; also 2 or 3 made-to-measure crown boards are needed. 10 frames from the colony are divided accordingly (i.e. 5 : 5 for 2 nucs or 3 : 4 : 3 for 3 nucs) with a well formed queen cell in each nuc. In these two cases it is necessary to ensure that there is no bee space on the underside of the brood box, and that a divider is accurately made so that no bees can pass from one nuc to its neighbour. The supers are given to other colonies.
Strategy when sealed queen cells are found during a routine inspection

This is probably the worse case scenario. It can be assumed that the colony has swarmed. As a result perhaps a favourite queen, and also the honey harvest has been lost. At least all is not lost; a decision can be made whether or not an increase in colonies is wanted. The procedure is similar to the Pagden method as described on the previous page.
If a colony swarms and the remaining queen cells not dealt with, then virgin queens will emerge in a series of casts. These can be very successfully taken and each treated as a nuc. The cast will built up during the season to a full colony. It is relatively simple to find the virgin queen if the cast is sprayed with water and gently poked apart with the finger.
The cast should be fed if necessary and the first eggs can be expected between 2 to 3 weeks after the cast is taken.

The photo shows a cast which settled on the top of the parent colony. It refused three times to go into a nuc box returning instead to its chosen spot on the hive body. After three weeks some comb was built and I was about to give up. My wife, however, took pity on them and we had the idea of using a phial of swarm lure in the nuc box.
They went in this time with no problem and soon produced two frames of nice brood.
Strategy when a Queen is accidentally lost
It is sometimes the case no matter how careful one is when handling a queen or colony that the queen is lost.
For example the bees themselves have killed the queen when she has been held in a Jenter cage !, and a queen has been damaged when held in a queen catcher (clip). It also always pays to look under the crownboard when removing from the brood box during an inspection in case the queen is there.
What to do?
The answer is not to panic but to let the colony produce new queen cells. The situation is rather like that which occurs in the colony when a swarm has departed and left sealed queen cell behind as described above.
Hopefully in this scenario the new queen cells will be formed from one day old grubs or eggs. If the colony is examined on the 4th day after the accident and sealed queen cells are found, then these should be destroyed; the grubs which the bees chose must have been more than one day old.
The situation now becomes similar to that described above. A decision has to be made before the new queens emerge as how many queen cells are to be used. It is imperative that action is taken. Doing nothing will just result in a series of casts emerging so decimating the colony.
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