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Home > International > Breeding and selection > Swarms’ production

Swarms’ production

Each year, we produce 1000 overwintered swarms.
Those swarms are almost all produced on 6 frame hives. The hives provide us the necessary of bees to fill the Kieler nuclei.
In March, which is also the start of spring, we open all the hives to check the sanitary conditions and to estimate the reserves. We note the colonies’ strength (strong, medium or small) and we feed them, if necessary.
The following nights, we move the hives depending on their vigorousness to homogenize the apiaries.
Right at the beginning of the colza blossoms, we start the colonies’ dividing up on 5 or 6 frames.

  • We let the queen with 2 sealed brood frames + 1 reserve frame + 2 building frames + 1 warm partition. The dividing up is made during the nectar flow. The foragers are making the colony bigger for a 6 frame hive, 1 or 2 weeks later.
  • The remaining frames are placed in an empty hive. If possible, we need a minimum of 2 brood-frames to constitute the new swarm. We add one building frame + 2 warm partitions; then we move the hive on an apiary located in our fertilization zone.
  • The next day, we introduce the fertilized queen bee of our choice, or more frequently, a 11 day old royal cell. Afterwards, we add 1 L of diluted syrup, even in a case of honey flow, in order to encourage the acceptance.
  • As soon as the queen is laying eggs since 1 week or more, the hive is moved on an apiary outside the fertilization zone.

6 weeks after the swarm constitution, the colony is on 5 or 6 frames.

  • Until 2012, we were dividing again the colonies to produce “swarms with a queen of the year”. One medium or strong hive at the end of winter (80% of the bee population) was giving 2 swarms during the season.
  • Since 2013, we place a honey chamber on those swarms as the sweet chestnuts blossom approaches. Those small hives will participate in the testing or our strain queens, for the honey production.

Swarms’ production:

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