SInce my queens keep flying away, could I put an excluder on the bottom of the hive also to keep the queen from swarming? They never fill all the frames before they elope, could this force them to?
Question: Can you use two queen excluders ?
That would seriously inhibit your hive's overall production and it wouldn't prevent new swarm cells from being created in your hive. The bees would just exercise the current queen until she was small enough to fly and if she couldn't, they'd kill her.
Maybe that's what I need. Bees to exersize me untill I'm smaller.
Thanks for the info. It was just an idea. It's mostly one Italian queen who keeps taking off. The first time she swarmed, she left a weak hive behind. The second time she swarmed, she left me with a very strong hive. The third time, we let her go find somewhere else. Evidentally she hasn't found a place she is happy with as we have seen her swarm twice since then. One of thoes times we almost had her and her thousands of bees, but missed her. Now her swarms are smaller and they don't stay put anywhere long enough to get her back. I have chassed her all summer. And am ready to SQUASH her if I catch her!
It's not necessarily the queen's doing. She may not be producing string enough ferimones to keep her hive in line or she may not be good at creating brood. What's happening is that her workers and attendants are feeding royal jelly to a few bees and creating what are known as queen cells or swarm cells. In order to hold off a hive from swarming, you need to remove those cells as they are created. We let nature take its course and let ours swarm if they want to. If we lose production in a hive 1 year, it's no great loss to us as we're not selling the honey commercially. On the bright side for you, there's at least 1 new feral hive helping pollinate the area at a time when CCD is a big problem.
That's what we figured too. The more wild bees the better. I actually think we will get a bit of honey off her second hive. They are really going to town.