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Here are two articles on a topic we should brush up on now that swarm season is almost here. The first article is on Checkerboarding, a swarm prevention technique invented by Walt Wright. The second article is titled, Swarm Control and Management by Dr. James Tew. (The second article is a little misaligned but you should be able to find it elsewhere.)


Checkerboarding is a relatively new approach to swarm prevention. Although it has only been published for about 15 years, it defies the old adage that “swarming is inevitable.” This submittal is intended to substantiate or quantify the advertised reliability.

Implementation of the checkerboarding (CB) manipulation is disgustingly simple. The manipulation consists of removing alternate frames of honey from the top box and replacing those frames with empty comb suitable for rearing brood. Since there is no brood nest disturbance, it can be done in late winter before the brood nest expands into the top box of capped honey. After the initial manipulation, to sustain swarm prevention reliability, maintain empty comb at the top for the colony to grow into with brood nest expansion. If that sounds too simple to be effective, you are in good company. Almost nobody believes it would get the reliability that is inherent in the approach.


Read the full article here: Swarm Control — Bill’s Russian Bee Blog