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Autor: M.W.

Shaw - Asociaia Apicultorilor din Anglesey, ara Galilor,


Marea Britanie
Traducere: Ren Demeter

MUPLTIPLELE UTILIZRI ALE UNUI PODIOR SNELGROVE


Partea I O prezentare a lui L.E. Snelgrove i a podiorului su
Despre persoana lui Snelgrove
Leonard E. Snelgrove a fost un eminent apicultor n anii '30 i a activat pn la
mijlocul anilor 1950. A locuit n Weston-super-Mare, n regiunea Somerset (Anglia)
i era membru al Societii Regale de Entomologie. Printre reuitele sale se numr
i faptul de a fi ajuns preedinte al Asociaiei Apicultorilor din Somerset, membru
onorific pe via al Asociaiei Apicultorilor din Marea Britanie, expert i lector
onorific al acesteia, precum i preedinte adjunct al acestei asociaii. Ceea ce este
ns i mai important, este c el a fost i un observator foarte meticulos i
inteligent al albinelor.
Roirea controlul i prevenirea acesteia, cartea care a prezentat pentru prima dat
podiorul Snelgrove, a aprut n anul 1934 i a fost succesiv republicat ajungnd
la ediia a XV-a n 1998. Snelgrove a mai scris si alte cri importante precum
Creterea Mtcilor i Introducerea Mtcilor.
Introducere
Este surprinztor ct de muli apicultori au cte un podior Snelgrove printre
echipamentele lor. De cele mai multe ori ns, acesta zace n magazie nefolosit
pentru simplul motiv c acetia nu tiu ce s fac cu el, iar dac totui podiorul
vede cteodat lumina zilei, este fiindc e folosit drept capac n situaii de urgen.
n parte, aceasta este greeala apicultorului pentru c nu se obosete s afle cte
ceva despre utilizarea acestui podior, dar nici nu este ajutat de ctre cartea lui
Snelgrove care, ca s folosim terminologia modern, nu este prea prietenoas cu
utilizatorul. Descrierile metodelor sale tind s fie prea prescriptive i, n aparen,
inflexibile, cel puin pn ce ajungi s citeti partea de discuii. Este clar c
Snelgrove a avut impresia c apicultorii au nevoie de reete detaliate. O alt
problem este i faptul c autorul avea n mod evident familii de albine foarte
prolifice, fiindc cele mai multe instruciuni ale metodelor sale iau n calcul stupi pe
dou sau trei cutii cu puiet.1
Doar urmnd instruciunile lui Snelgrove este greoi a ntrevedea cum acestea pot fi
puse n practic pe stupi cu puiet de o cutie i jumtate (o cutie adnc i una pe
jumtate)2. n plus, cartea las impresia c toate manipulrile trebuiesc executate
ntocmai cum le descrie autorul, fix n ziua precizat ori altfel rezultatul ar putea fi
compromis. Totul sun dificil i complicat, asftfel c oamenii se las pgubai. Mai
trziu n cartea sa, Snelgrve coboar din turnul su de filde i vorbete despre tot
felul de variante pentru diversele situaii ntlnite n practic, dar cei mai muli
cititori pierd firul povetii nainte de a ajunge n acest punct.
Un alt aspect care descurajeaz pe apicultori este faptul c n cele mai multe din
metodele sale (precum i n cele mai multe metode de control al roitului) trebuie
gsit matca. ns, de fapt, nu trebuie s gsii matca! Snelgrove recunoate
aceast dificultate i ofer instruciuni alternative pentru a face treaba fr a gsi
matca dar, revin asupra problemei, cei mai muli nu citesc cartea pn aici.
1
2

Este vorba de lzi pentru stupi de tip englezesc cu nlimea de 304 mm i rame de 356 mm
lungime (n.trad.)
Adic o lad de 304 mm i una de 140 mm nlime. (n. trad.)

Snelgrove a dezvoltat acest podior n prim instan pentru prevenirea roirii prin
divizare preemptiv. Iari, nu este nimic nou n aceast ideea care a fost folosit
de ctre apicultori n diverse forme nc de la nceputurile utilizrii stupilor cu rame
mobile la mijlocul secolului al XIX-lea. inta acestei metode de prevenire a roirii
este de a determina momentul n care familia este complet dezvoltat i este pe
punctul de roi (dar nu a nceput nc s trag botci) i, mai apoi, de a o diviza.
Roirea este folosit pe scar larg n vederea nmulirii albinelor i, n acest caz,
prevenirea roirii apare ca un bonus. Aceasta a mai fost folosit i cu rol strategic n
pregtirea familiei pentru un anumit cules puternic, de exemplu la iarba neagr,
prin recombinarea diviziunilor pentru a forma o familie puternic cu o cutie mare
de puiet i un numr mare de albine culegtoare.
Snelgrove i-a bazat metoda pe teoria lui Gerstung privind roitul, ceea ce afirm c
acesta are loc ca rezultat al prezenei n familie a unui numr excesiv de albinedoici productoare de hran pentru puiet raportat la numrul efectiv de larve ce
trebuiesc hrnite. Snelgrove cunotea c aceast teorie avea oponenii su i a
pstrat o minte deschis cu privire la subiect ns, cu toate acestea, a privit teoria
respectiv ca un cale folositore de a trata roirea. Divizare preemptiv duce la
ndeprtarea unui numr mare de albine doici din prezena mtcii i a puietului.
Pn la urm, teoria lui Gerstung a fost dovedit ca fiind fals n anii 1950 prin
rezultatele lucrrilor lui Butler i Simpson de la Staiunea de Cercetare n
Agricultur Rothampstead, ns teorie sau nu, metoda lui Snelgrove chiar
funcioneaz.
O msur pn la jumtatea drumului n ceea ce privete divizarea coloniei este
mai vechea metod Demare (1892), n care fagurii cu puiet sunt plasai n partea
de sus a stupului (deasupra catului superior) dar nu pe un podior despritor,
adic rmn n componena continu a stupului. Aceast metod ndeprteaz
albinele-doici din zona principal cu puiet i, totodat, elimin aglomeraia. Ofer
un control mai redus dect n cazul utilizrii unui podior Snelgrove (sau alte
podioare despritoare) i impune o verificare iniial pentru a vedea dac nu au
aprut botci n partea superioar a stupului unde albinele pot fi destul de izolate
pentru a se considera orfane. Cu ct sunt mai multe caturi ntre cuib i puietul din
partea superioar a stupului la momentul manipulrii, cu att mai probabil este
apariia botcilor. Tot ceea ce trebuie fcut este distrugerea acestor botci (o singur
dat) i apoi nu vor mai exista larve din care albinele s trag altele. Metoda
Demare prezint i probleme legate de apariia trntorilor deasupra gratiei de
excludere a mtcii, sracele fiine neputnd iei din stup i mor pe gratie.
Podiorul Snelgrove
Proiectul podiorului fcut de Snelgrove nu a fost unul n totalitate original. Existau
deja, nc nainde de 1900, "podioare de roire" sau "podioare separatoare", cum
se numeau ele. Un proiect al unui podior foarte asemntor (fcut de J.E.
Chambers) a aprut n revista american Bee Culture n 1906, dar exist i
podioare mai recente, precum cele numite dup Wilson, Cloake sau Horsley.
ntruct nu am folosit niciunul din aceste podioare nu tiu ce ofer acestea, dar
m ndoiesc c ar fi la fel de flexibile n utilizare precum cel proiectat de Snelgrove.
n esen un podior Snelgrove este un podior despritor dar n loc de o intrare,
are opt! Acestea par un pic excesive pn ce le nelegem utilizarea. Podiorul
este construit ca unul obinuit ce prezint spaiul albinei pe ambele pri. Pentru
ca nchiztoarele urdinielor s funcioneze bine i s ofere un acces corespunztor

este de dorit ca spaiul albinei s se mreasc pe ambele pri de la 6-7 mm ct


este n mod normal, la 9 mm. Cele mai multe dintre podioarele mele au 9 mm
pentru spaiul albinei n partea de jos i 12 mm n partea superioar. Diferena n
plus din partea superioar ajut la realizarea ventilaiei coloniei aflat deasupra.
Uile pereche se afl n mijlocul celor 3 (sau 4) laturi. Uile de sus realizeaz
accesul n partea de sus, iar cele de jos cu partea inferioar a stupului. n mijlocul
podiorului este o fant care, n mod normal, este acoperit cu o plas.
Uile mperecheate ofer posibilitatea de a controla numrul de albine care se afl
n colonia de deasupra podiorului. Cnd o diviziune (de orice tip) este amplasat
iniial deasupra podiorului, o us superioar (de regul, una aflat pe lateral sau
n spate) este deschis pentru a permite albinelor s ias din stup. Albinele care au
zburat anterior divizrii se vor ntoarce la urdiniul principal al stupului pe care l-au
nvat de la bun nceput. n timpul urmtoarelor zile (ct de curnd depinde de
vreme) colonia de deasupra podiorului Snelgrove i va pierde toat albina
zburtoare avut la momentul divizrii. n acest perioad, albinele nezburtoare
vor fi "promovate" i vor avea ndatoriri de zbor astfel c acestea vor privi uia
deschis a podiorului Snelgrove ca urdini al stupului lor. ntre timp n colonia de
sus va aprea puietul va ecloziona i dup pierderea iniial de albin, numrul
acestora va ncepe s creasc. Dup vreo 5 zile va exista iari un numr nsemnat
de albine ce zboar de la urdiniul format de ua deschis a podiorului iar
apicultorul poate s decid dac vrea s le pstreze n colonia de sus sau s le
transfere n cea de jos. De regul, colonia din partea inferioar reprezint partea
de stup care produce miere, aa c obiectivul este de a-i transfea ct mai multe
albine zburtoare n vederea mririi numrului de culegtoare fr a periclita
colonia de deasupra. Familia aflat n partea de sus are nevoie de a se hrni, de a
se apra i, dac ncepe s produc botci (ceea ce se intmpl la majoritatea
utilizrior podiorului Snelgrove) trebuie s aib destule albine i hran (polen i
nectar) pentru a ndeplini cu succes aceast sarcin. Transferul albinelor n partea
de jos este fcut prin nchiderea uiei prin care albinele ias din stup i
deschiderea celei aflate imediat sub aceasta. O alt ui aflat pe partea
superioar a podiorului despritor va fi acum deschis pentru ca albinele coloniei
de sus s poat zbura pe mai departe (poate fi una situat la 90 sau 180 raportat
la intrarea iniial, n fapt, nu prea conteaz).
Albinele zburtoare vor iei acum din colonia de sus prin noua ui dar se vor
ntoarce la poziia anterioarei intrri i, de obicei dup o scurt ezitare, vor intra i
se vor altura coloniei situate n partea de jos. Din nou, colonia de sus va
"promova" albine pentru zbor pentru a le nlocui pe cele pierdute, dar, desigur,
aceasta se va ntmpla pe seama albinelor-doici. Procesul de schimbare al
urdinielor poate fi reluat dup vreo 5 zile, astfel c i mai multe albine vor fi
transferate ctre colonia de jos, dar acest lucru este doar rareori necesar sau de
dorit a fi realizat. Dect s urmai vreo regul fix cu privire la transferul albinelor
spre colonia de jos, e mai bine s luai decizia n funcie de ceea ce se obsevai.
Ridicai podiorul ce acoper familia aflat n partea superioar i, dac este
necesar, uitai-v la cteva rame. Cte albine sunt n aceast colonie? Ct puiet
mai este nc de hrnit ori de eclozionat i sunt destule albine s se ocupe de
acesta? Sunt botci cpcite n colonia de sus, adic e complet procesul de hrnire
al acestor botci? Un alt factor ce v poate influena decizia este momentul
exitenei unui cules bogat. Diviziunea ai fcut-o mai mult pentru prevenirea roirii?
ncercai s obinei o nou matc pentru colonie sau ncercai s obinei mai
multe mtci prin distribuirea botcilor n nuclee?
Decizia luat n legtur cu schimbarea ursinielor nu este critic i cel mai ru ce

se poate ntmpla dac nu vei executa schimbarea intrrilor este c v vei trezi
cu att de multe albine deasupra podiorului Snelgrove, nct va trebui s adugai
o nou cutie cu faguri pentru a le gzdui. Este mai bine s greii pe partea
prudenei fiindc este preferabil s avei albine n exces n colonia de sus dect s
fie prea puine i s cad prad furtiagului. Singura regul este aceea c
schimbarea urdinielor trebuie s nceteze n momentul n care este posibil s
avem o matc virgin n colonia de sus, dornic s zboare i s se mperecheze.
Dac la ntoarcerea acesteia la stup va confunda intrrile i va intra n familia de
jos acest lucru va fi foarte contraproductiv.
Chiar i dup ce o nou matc va ncepe ouatul n colonia de sus, este
nerecomandat s se fac schimbare de urdiniuri timp de vreo 5 sptmni.
Aceasta, fiindc pn cnd noua matc va ncepe s ou, mai toate albinele vor fi
avut experien de zbor i n urma unei schimbri de urdini acestea vor fi toate
transferate n familia de jos. Dei cteva albine vor rmne s aib grij de puiet,
colonia va fi n mare primejdie de a ajunge victima unui furtiag. Abia dup vreo 5
sptmni n care noua matc i va crete propriile albine se va ajunge din nou la
o structur echilibrat din punct de vedere al vrstei n aceast familie. De regul,
prefer s las n pace colonia de sus cu noua ei matc i dac se ntrete suficient
ct timp nc este un cules puternic, adaug o gratie Hanneman i unul sau mai
multe caturi. Un alt moment de evitare a schimbrii intrrilor este i atunci cnd
are loc un furtiag mai bine ateptai pn seara sau o alt zi cnd lucrurile se
vor fi calmat.
Unul din marile avantaje al podiorului Snelgrove este c permite realizarea mai
multor operaiuni sub unul i acelai acoperi. Aceasta duce la o economie de
echipamente, fiind nevoie doar de un loc, un fund, un podior, un capac. Pentru
colonia de pe podiorul Snelgrove sunt valabile tot felul de opiuni: poate fi
reunificat cu familia de jos, poate fi mutat i crescut mai departe ca
independent ori poate fi unificat cu o familie orfan.
Dac pentru vreun
oarecare motiv colonia de pe podiorul Snelgrove nu reuete s i produc o
nou matc, podiorul poate fi pur i simplu scos i unificate cele dou colonii.
Avnd gaura prevzut cu sit, podiorul asigur existena unui miros similar n
cele dou colonii i acestea pot fi de obicei unificate fr utilizarea unei foi de
hrtie. Din nou, dac exist pericol de furtiag, se va adopta o manier de
intervenie mai precaut. Tot echipamentul n plus de care este nevoie sunt cutiile
suplimentare, faguri i nsui podiorul Snelgrove.
Utilizri ale podiorului Snelgrove
Discutnd despre originea podiorului Snelgrove i despre principiile de utilizare
ale acestuia, ajungem la chestiunea de importan major: ce putem face cu el?
Ceea ce urmeaz este o list cu principalele utilizri posibile ce vor fi descrise n
detaliu n cele ce urmeaz.
1) Prevenirea preemptiv a roirii (utilizarea original a podiorului, aa cum a
fost descris mai sus) atunci cnd nu sunt prezente botci n cadrul coloniei.
2) Controlul roirii pentru utilizarea n cazul n care exist botci n stup.
Snelgrove descrie dou metode (de fapt, trei, dar pe a treia nu am ncercat-o):
a) Metoda I (aa cum o numete el), care este un simplu roi artificial pe
vertical
(sub acelai acoperi) ce merge pe acelai principiu cu metoda
Pagden3.
b) Metoda a II-a, pentru care nu exist nicio denumire specific i const n
amplasarea ntregului puiet, a botcilor i a mtcii n partea superioar a
3

Este vorba despre cea mai obinuit metod de formare a roilor artificiali. (n. trad.)

stupului, utiliznd un podior Snelgrove. Se distrug botcile, matca depune


alte ou iar dup 10 zile printr-o nou manipulare se readuce matca n
partea de jos a stupului printre albinele zburtoare. La prima vedere aceasta
pare o chestiune contra intuitiv ns chiar funcioneaz i exist o explicaie
logic pentru ea.
3) nmulirea albinelor i creterea mtcilor aceasta din urm pe o scar
redus (ceea ce oricum trebuie s facem pentru meninerea diversitii genetice).
Creterea de noi mtci i posibilitatea nfiinrii de noi familii (sau unificarea
familiilor dac nu dorim nmulirea stupilor) sunt toate rezultate colaterale ale
metodelor de prevenie i control al roirii descrise mai sus.
4) Mai sunt i cteva utilizri ghidue la care m ndoiesc c s-a gndit
Snelgrove, dar care pot fi utile n a rezolva anumite probleme specifice.
PARTEA A II-A METODA I: PENTRU CAZUL N CARE
COLONIA NU A INTRAT N FRIGURILE ROITULUI (NU PREZINT BOTCI)
Retrospectiv
Nu a putea face ceva mai bun dect s l las pe Snelgrove s se explice prin
reproducerea paragrafului de debut din prefaa ediiei nti a crii sale, Roirea
controlul i prevenia acesteia publicat n 1934, care spune tot ce e de zis.
Problema controlului i prevenirii roirii albinelor a ocupat mintea omului de cnd
acestea au fost pentru prima dat inute n stupi. Invenia fagurilor mobili, care a
mbuntit serios posibilitatea controlului, din anumite puncte de vedere a
intensificat i problema. Cei mai muli stupari din ziua de azi nu au probleme n a
gestiona cu succes albinele timp de 10 luni pe an (not: aceasta a fost cu mai bine
de 60 de ani nainte ca Varroa s intre n scen) dar cnd venea luna roirii i
anticipau o recolta bogat de miere ca rsplat pentru grija i efortul depus,
acetia se ngrozesc i sunt deseori redui la o stare de disperare datorit
dispariiei frecvente a roiurilor tocmai din cei mai buni stupi. Multe metode de
prevenire a roirii au fost discutate dar nu au prea fost adoptate. Asta fiindc unele
impun manipulri dificile, frecvente sau neplcute. Altele fiindc interfereaz cu
scopul principal al apiculturii producia de miere.
Instruciuni de manipulare
Elementele principale ale manipulrii sunt descrise ca un numr de pai de
executat. n pasul 1 va trebui gsit matca i acest lucru este mult mai uor dac
este marcat. Cel mai bun moment de marcare a mtcii este la sfritul lui aprilie
sau nceputul lui mai, nainte ca familia s devin prea numeroas cnd matca e
greu de gsit.
1) Deschidei stupul; intervenii sub gratia Hanneman, n cutia de cuib i, utiliznd
ct mai puin fum posibil, gsii matca. - acesta este planul A! Desigur este i un
plan B (mai jos) pentru cazul n care nu reuii gsirea mtcii, dar sfatul meu este
s urmai planul A, acesta fiind mult mai blnd fa de albine. Dac, s zicem,
dup 10 minute de cutri nu reuii s gsii matca, abia atunci trecei la planul B.
2) Avnd matca, punei-o ntr-un loc sigur, cum ar fi o cuc de marcare sau
punei-o cu rama ei cu tot ntr-un nucleu cu urdiniul nchis i cu capacul pus.
Acum putei proceda n linite la examinarea ramelor cu puiet fr riscuri legate
de matc.
3) Urmtorul pas impune divizarea ramelor de puiet (i rezerve) i decizia asupra
crora vor rmne n cutia de jos cu matca i care vor fi urcate n partea de

deasupra podiorului Snelgrove. Ceea ce facei acum este foarte flexibil, n limitele
bunului sim! Sun cam vag, dar n esen, o mare parte din puiet va merge sus i
matca va rmne jos cu ceea ce rmne din puiet.
4) Reasamblai stupul i nu uitai s introducei matca n cutia de jos.
5) Instalai gratia Hanneman i un numr de caturi deasura (cte considerai c
sunt adecvate). Nu e sfritul lumii dac greiti aici. Dac n urma rezultatului
culesului vei constatat c mai trebuie o cutie, nu va fi greu s o adugai.
6) Montai podiorul Snelgrove (n locul podiorului obinuit) i pe el punei cutia cu
ramele selectate pentru a fi urcate n susul stupului. Punei podiorul i capacul.
7) n final, NU UITAI s deschidei o ui pe partea superioar a podiorului
Snelgrove pentru ca albinele s poat zbura. O u situat lateral este cea mai
bun alegere.
Planul B pentru cnd nu reuii s gsii matca.
Numrul de pai sunt urmtorii:
1) Avei deja stupul deschis i nu ai reuit s gsii matca. (ni se ntmpl tuturor)
2) Primul pas este s decidei care rame vor merge sus, pe podiorul Snelgrove i
punei-le cu grij ntr-o cutie (o cutie n plus ar fi de mare ajutor)
3) Punei cutia sau cutiile care vor fi n partea de jos a stupului pe un fund i facei
un spaiu n mijloc pentru a avea loc s scuturai albinele de pe rame.
4) Matca se poate afla n oricare mnunchi de rame, printre cele care merg jos ori
n cele selectate pentru a fi urcate deasupra podiorului Snelgrove.
5) Pentru a fi siguri c matca va rmne jos, tot ceea ce e de fcut este s
scuturai cu grij albinele de pe ramele selectate s mearg n partea de sus,
plasnd aceste rame n a treia cutie pe msur ce avansai cu scuturarea albinelor.
Cu o perie sau o pan ndeprtai de pe rame i albinle care au rmas acolo.
6) n urma completrii pasului anterior, matca se va afla n cutia de jos. Ramele
care vor merge sus nu vor avea pe ele matca, dar nici albine, aa c vor trebui
repopulate.
7) Punei o gratie Hanneman peste cutia de jos i plasai peste aceasta cutia cu
fagurii de pe care ai scuturat albinele i reasamblai temporar stupul.
8) Lsai stupul n pace timp de cca. 1 or, rstimp n care albinele doici se vor
rentoarce pentru a acoperi puietul din ramele de deasupra, ns matca va rmne
jos neputnd trece prin gratie.
9) Montai podiorul Snelgrove i reasamblai stupul n configuraie final.
10) Dup toate aceste manipulri simple dar care consum destul timp nu uitai s
deschidei o ui superioar de pe podiorul Snelgrove.
PARTEA a III-a Metode pentru cazul n care familia a intrat n frigurile
roitului
Metoda adaptiv a lui Snelgrove de roire atificial
Aceasta este un simplu roi artificial vertical, n care, n loc s fie plasat pe un alt
amplasament, colonia mam este pus pe un podior Snelgrove n partea de sus a
stupului.
Secvena intruciunilor de manipulare este:
a) Stupul se demonteaz complet n dou stive o stiv cu cutiile de cuib i n alta
cutiile suplimentare.
b) O cutie nou de puiet se pune pe vechiul fund care se umple cu rame cu faguri
trai (pot fi printre ele i cteva cu fundaie)
c) Se gsete matca i se transfer n noua cutie. Dac nu o putei gsi, folosii
planul B descris n partea a II-a.

d) Aceast nou cutie care va conine roiul artificial va rmne n poziia original
a stupului, astfel c toat albina zburtoare se va altura mtcii.
e) Cu excepia cazului c familia ncearc s roiasc prea devreme, o singur cutie
de cuib va furniza spaiu suficient pentru puiet pentru a se reface familia pn la
sfritul sezonului.
f) Se monteaz o gratie Hanneman pe aceast nou cutie i se adaug cutiile
suplimentare.
g) Colonia mam, coninnd puietul, toate botcile i alte albine pe faguri rmne n
vechea cutie care se pune n partea de sus a stupului pe un podior Snelgrove.
h) Se deschide o ui de pe podior (de obicei una lateral) astfel c toate
zburtoarele vor iei pe aceasta dar se vor ntoarce la urdiniul principal al stupului
i se vor altura roiului artificial.
i) Dup 4-5 zile se nchide uia care intr n colonia de sus i se deschide uia
corespunztoare aflat imediat sub aceasta. Se deschide o alt ui superioar de
pe podiorul Snelgrove, poziionalt la 90 de grade fa de cea nchis. Acest
schimb de intrri va transfera albinele din colonia de sus spre roiul artificial de jos.
j) O alt schimbare de intrri poate fi fcut dup alte 4-5 zile pentru a se sifona n
jos i mai multe albine.
Orice schimbare de intrri trebuie s nceteze dup 8-10 zile de la divizarea
iniial, n caz contrar matca nou aprut n colonia de sus s-ar putea s ajung n
roiul aflat la baza stupului.
Metoda Snelgrove modificat
Secvena de instruciuni de manipulare
a) Se demonteaz stupul ca i cum ai face un roi artificial, cu lada de cuib i
cutiile suplimentare n dou stive diverite
b) O cutie de puiet cu rame se amplaseaz pe vechiul fund, de preferat cu faguri
trai, dar poate s conin i cteva fundaii.
c) Dou rame de puiet complete, cu albine doici i coninnd ou i larve tinere se
pun n centrul cutiei. Aceste rame trebuiesc bine verificate ca matca s nu se afle
pe ele. Se vor distruge botcile prezente pe aceste rame.
d) Montai o gratie Hanneman pe aceast cutie i pe ea amplasai cutiile
suplimentare.
e) Tot puietul rmas n cutia original de cuib se amplaseaz pe un podior
Snelgrove n partea superioar a stupului. Aici se afl n acest moment, n afar de
cele dou rame scoase tot puietul, botcile i, cel mai important lucru, matca. Cele
dou rame scoase vor fi nlocuite cu faguri trai sau foie.
f) Singura precauie va fi s nu existe nicio botc matur n colonia de pe podiorul
Snelgrove. Dac nu tii care e matur i care nu, distrugei toate botcile cpcite.
g) Deschidei o ui pe podior pentru ca albinele din acest colonie s poat iei
iar albina zburtoare se va ntoarce la urdiniul principal din josul stupului.
h) Dup 4-5 zile putei efectua obinuita schimbare a intrrilor duble pentru a
transfera mai multe albine zburtoare ctre roiul artificial de la baza stupului.
i) Dup 7-10 zile intrai n faza a doua de operaiuni. Verificnd colonia de pe
podiorul Snelgrove va trebui ca toate botcile s fie distruse i matca s ii fi reluat
ouatul.
j) Faza a doua nu trebuie s o amnai dincolo de ziua a 11-a, fiindc e posibil ca
una din botcile de salvare s eclozioneze i n roiul artificial de jos s apar o
matc virgin.
k) Acum trebuie fcut o schimbare de rame; matca i rama pe care este ea,
precum i nc o ram cu puiet din cutia de sus se vor transvaza n cutia de jos (n

mijlocul acesteia), iar cele dou rame cu puiet puse iniial n aceast cutie (care n
acest moment vor avea pe ele botci) sunt transferate n mijlocul cutiei de sus.
Cutia de jos, acum rentregit cu matca cea veche se va lsa s se ntreasc i
sunt premise bune pentru aceasta iar partea de sus a stupului, cea de pe
podiorul Snelgrove, i va alege o matc i va distruge celelalte botci, iar matca se
va mperechea.
Aceast metod este mai uoar dect cea a roiului artificial fiindc matca nu
trebuie gsit n timpul divizrii iniiale, tot ce trebuie este ca ea s nu se gseasc
pe cele dou rame ce se vor pune n cutia de jos.

the SB will select an emerging queen, destroy all others and get the chosen one
mated. The method is easier than conventional artificial swarming because the
queen does not have to be found during the initial split. She only has NOT to be on
the two frames that go in the bottom box with the artificial swarm. Finding the
queen later on the SB is easier because there is a reduced number of bees and she
has also resumed laying and will be much less mobile than in a pre-swarming
colony where queens are always more difficult to find. If for any reason you miss
the 11 day limit for the second phase and find that queen cells have emerged in
the bottom box, you are trapped in that situation but it is not a complete
disaster! If there are still sealed queen cells, open at least one or two and let any
mature queens walk out into the hive. When you are satisfied that there is a least
one healthy virgin queen in the bottom box, destroy all the remaining queen cells
The artificial swarm should now settle down to select a queen, get her mated and
should not attempt to swarm. Meanwhile, the colony on the SB will be forging
ahead under the old queen and has now become the main honey producing unit. It
will soon need a queen excluder and some supers. These can be moved up from
the lower part of the hive where the honey producing potential is reduced. If you
have really blown it, and not done the second phase until day 16 or later, then
there is a good chance that the bottom part of the hive has already swarmed but
it will be difficult to tell for sure. There is not much you can do about this but you
can be fairly sure that it will not swarm for a second time. Learn the lesson and
resolve to do better next time! In the fourth and final part of this series, I will
discuss the strategic use of the various methods of pre-emptive and re-active
artificial swarming to maximise honey production. I will also try to give a
convincing explanation of how it all works. PART 4 STRATEGIC CONSIDERATIONS
AND SOME INOVATIVE USES Introduction The previous parts of this series of articles
have described the main ways that a Snelgrove board can be deployed in colony
management. Some of the uses are determined by the beekeeper having a definite
objective in mind, the most common example being the raising of a new queen for
a colony because the existing one is nearing the end of her useful life. Another
related objective is to change the strain of a colony with undesirable
characteristics by making it raise a new queen using eggs or young larvae from a
more desirable stock. By using a Snelgrove board this latter operation can be
accomplished almost seamlessly, keeping the existing queen in her job until her
replacement is up and running, so that little honey production is lost. A Snelgrove
board can also be used as a means of small-scale queen raising; isolating part of
the brood from the queen thereby causing the split to make emergency queen
cells and using frames with cells on them to `seed` nucs that have been populated
by bees (surrogate carers) from another hive. However, the mainstream use of a
Snelgrove board is for either swarm prevention (Method I used to split colonies
preemptively before swarm cells are produced) or swarm control (conventional
artificial swarming or Method II used when queen cells are present in a colony).
The main objective of beekeeping (for most people) is to produce an optimum crop
of honey from their hives. The way in which the swarming behaviour is managed is
the main determinant of honey production that is under the control of the
beekeeper things like weather are not. Swarm Control and Honey Production
Virtually all swarm control methods involve some loss of honey production but this
must be weighed against the loss that occurs if a colony is just allowed to swarm,
the prime swarm makes good its escape and so do any cast swarms. If this entirely
natural sequence of events is allowed to proceed unchecked, most of the honey
production will be lost. The following management options are listed in order of

their increasing impact on honey production. a) No swarm control - the colony goes
the whole way through the season without attempting to swarm. This is the option
most likely to realise the maximum honey production potential of the hive. The
likelihood of a colony not attempting to swarm during the season are greatly
increased by good comb management; ensuring the queen always has room to lay
and there is plenty of space for the storage of honey. b) Pre-emptive swarm control
splitting the colony before any queen cells are produced (eg. Snelgrove`s Method
I, described in Part 2) comes next. If this operation is carefully timed in relation to
anticipated nectar flows and the quantitative balance of the split is nicely
adjusted*, there will be little loss honey production. There can even be a slight
increase if the split is made early in the season and results in two fully functioning
colonies by the time of the main flow. Pre-emptive splitting is certainly a good
option for bees that are to be taken to the heather or have access to some other
late nectar flow. Uniting the splits can be used to produce a large colony with lots
of brood and headed by a young queen in anticipation of the flow. c) Re-active
swarm control - doing no swarm control until queen cells are produced and then
applying some method of artificial swarming (see Part 3 of the series). The two
colonies produced by an artificial swarm will inevitably produce less honey than
two colonies produced by a pre-emptive split but the `wait and see what happens`
or `sitting on the fence` strategy does allow the beekeeper to get maximum
production from those hives that actually go through the whole season without
attempting to swarm. This strategy, using re-active swarm control as and when
required, is basically gambling on the chance of a colony not attempting to swarm
at any time during the season. Like all gambling, you win some and you lose some,
but this is not entirely a game of chance. Experienced beekeepers have some idea
how likely their colonies are to swarm and there are warning signs in the colonies
themselves if you are looking carefully. The only thing the beekeeper can not
control is the weather and, in western Britain, this is a major factor in the initiation
of swarming. d) Waiting until swarms emerge hoping to catch and hive them
before they disappear into the wild blue yonder. This is a chancy strategy,
requiring great vigilance but can be enhanced by the use of catch or bait hives
which hopefully attract swarms to hive themselves. If things are not to go from bad
to worse, the beekeeper still has to determine which colony has produced the
swarm, open the hive and destroy all but one queen cell, if cast swarming is to be
avoided. e) Doing nothing at all - apart from adding enough supers and hoping for
the best. If the colony does not swarm a good crop of honey will be produced. If it
does swarm and then cast swarms then there is little hope of any honey surplus.
Which Strategy is Best? You are not catching me on that one! If I really knew the
answer I would be much too clever and important to be writing articles for you lot.
Seriously though, it is a choice (a balancing act) between a) no swarm control but
good comb management, b) preemptive swarm control by splitting colonies, and,
c) re-active swarm control. All three strategies have a place in the beekeepers
management repertoire. I still have plenty to learn about this aspect of beekeeping
and I will let you know when I have any firm conclusion if ever! * Just to explain
what I mean by the phrase the `quantitative balance of the split is nicely
adjusted`. When a colony is split to prevent initiation of the swarming process you
are attempting to revert the existing brood nest to a less mature state. You are
doing this by the removal of brood and nurse bees. The existing brood nest (still
with the queen in place) now, not only has more room for her to lay, but fewer
nurse bees to look after the brood. The result is a brood nest in a state of
development similar to that which existed earlier in the season when the colony
was still building. The question is how much brood and nurse bee removal is

enough to prevent the colony from attempting to swarm for the rest of the season?
I do not know the answer and that is where your skill and judgement as a
beekeeper comes in. With some colonies the removal of 2-3 frames of brood and
bees will be enough whilst other colonies may need the removal of a whole box
and, in some cases, even that may not be enough. The only rule I can give you is,
that if you are going to put the removed frames on a Snelgrove board, it has to be
a viable number and I would suggest that about 6 deep frames or 8-9 shallow
frames is about right. Because by using a Snelgrove board you have warmth
coming up from the colony below, you could probably get away with fewer frames
but it is best to err on the safe side. Defence may be the critical issue for the split
and it is good practice to adjust the degree of opening of the door on the Snelgrove
board accordingly. With a small split quite a small opening will suffice until more
bees have emerged from the brood and the new colony has got its act together.
The Difference between a Natural Swarm and an Artificial Swarm Most beekeepers
think that natural and artificial swarms are the same thing they both consist of
flying bees dont they? but this perception could hardly be further from the truth.
An artificial swarm by the way it is created by the beekeepers manipulation,
contains virtually all of the experienced flying bees (the foragers) from the original
colony. However, it only contains a few younger nurse bees; those that were
transferred with (and hatch out from) the single frame of brood and bees that it is
usual to transfer to the box containing the artificial swarm. A natural swarm
contrary to popular opinion, a natural swarm contains relatively few dedicated
foragers (the oldest bees in a colony) but is rich in younger bees, many of which
have little or no previous experience of flying Studies have shown that up to 70%
of worker bees under 10 days old depart with the prime swarm. If you watch a hive
in the process of swarming you can see some of this happening. Incoming
foragers, ignoring the mayhem that surrounds them, can be seen struggling to get
back into the hive against the flow of bees. Similarly, if you look at the newly
settled swarm, you will usually see a few foragers with loads of pollen on their hind
legs but a few minutes later they will have disappeared presumably they realise
they have no business there and have returned home. The process by which the
colony splits during the formation of a natural swarm which bees go and which
bees stay - is not understood. Presumably it is an instinctive, age-related response
to the triggering buzz runs across the comb faces executed by the bees that are
organising the swarming process (whoever they are). Some bees are recruited to
the swarm and others hold back and provide the garrison for the home colony. The
way a colony splits during a cast swarm may be even more complex but, again,
virtually nothing is known about this. When one thinks about the age composition
of a natural swarm it makes perfect sense. What use are older bees to a swarm? A
foraging bee has probably got only a few days more to live and what the swarm
needs is bees that will survive a minimum of 3 weeks (and more typically 4 weeks)
until there can be any new recruits. When the swarm settles in its new home it has
to redeploy its labour force to do the most urgent tasks that face it; into wax
makers/comb builders and foragers, the latter to keep the wax makers well
supplied with nectar. As soon as there is comb available and the queen starts to
lay again some nurse bees will have to come on duty. What does all this matter to
the practical beekeeper? Well, I would have thought you had worked that out by
now! An artificial swarm and a natural swarm behave very differently. The artificial
swarm is slow to recover and start to re-build its numbers - presumably because of
the initial shortage of nurse bees. It is also not prepared for large scale wax
production and comb building and will be quite reluctant to draw any foundation
with which it is presented. By contrast, a natural swarm is all get-up-and-go and

full of vigour. It wants to get a set of combs built as soon as possible, it wants to
get the queen into lay quickly and it wants to start accumulating stores for the
oncoming winter. The very process of swarming may have an invigorating
(simulative) effect on the bees. Because an artificial swarm is what it says on the
can `artificial` the bees have not evolved any instinctive behaviour to deal with
this entirely un-natural situation in which you (the beekeeper) have placed them. It
is no wonder that initially they struggle but there is not much the beekeeper can
do to help. Although we casually say that an artificial swarm `thinks that it has
swarmed`, I very much doubt this is the case. There are some bees (not all of
them) in that artificial swarm that were triggered to organise a swarm and you
have frustrated them. Despite the manipulation to which they have been
subjected, they often retain the urge to swarm and will do just that given the
slightest opportunity. So it is no good introducing some nurse bees into the
artificial swarm to help it recover more quickly because that will probably upset the
delicate balance that exists during the early days. The safest option is to leave
them to recover in their own time. When one compares the comparative lethargy
of an artificial swarm compared with a natural swarm it leads one to think that the
old-time practice of beekeepers, assiduously collecting swarms and installing them
in their skeps, had something to be said in its favour. Just a thought! Two
Innovative Ways of Using a Snelgrove Board These are just a couple of things we
have tried recently; they are not in the books but they seem to work. Putting the
Queen in Purdah If you are beekeeping in an area where there is no late nectar
flow, by the last week in June the queen will have laid the last eggs that are going
to produce bees that will contribute to collecting the honey crop. Most annoyingly,
this the moment at which some colonies will decide to swarm and you find the
start of queen cells in the hive. What do you do about this? If you do an artificial
swarm you will end up with two colonies that will not really be up to the job of
producing much honey. Providing you catch the process in its early stage, one
solution is to find and remove the queen. In the past we have taken the queen plus
a couple of frames of brood and bees and put them in a nuc and it worked.
Recently, instead of using a nuc, we have put her into the half-brood and placed
that at the top of the hive on a Snelgrove board. We have then used door changing
to divert surplus bees back into the (honey collecting) colony below. The main
colony (now without a queen) will of course make emergency queen cells but will
continue to function reasonably well during honey flow and certainly much better
that if it were split or allowed to swarm. When the honey crop has been taken and
if the main colony has successfully raised a new queen, a range of options are
open. You can unite the colonies, choosing either the new or the old queen, or you
can remove the colony on the Snelgrove board and give it its independence (use it
to make increase). If you are going on holiday in July and suspect a colony may
attempt to swarm during the time you are away, you can deploy the same
manipulation pre-emptively. This will ensure the colony does not swarm and
probably cast swarm in your absence. What to do with a July Swarm This is the
swarm that `isnt worth a fly` as the old saying goes. Basically this is a disaster for
the honey crop, as neither the swarm nor the parent colony will make much honey
on the main flow. Out of the blue (meaning we werent looking properly) one of our
colonies swarmed in early July. Instead of hiving it as an independent colony in the
normal way, we chucked it into a box of comb on a Snelgrove board on top of the
colony whence it came. A few days later, when it had settled down (which it did,
slightly to our surprise), we did a door change to divert bees back into the parent
colony below. As most of the bees were active fliers, a substantial number of bees
were bled down by this manipulation but enough remained to support the old

queen. If there had been a main flow (this was the summer of 2009 dont forget)
this colony would have been able to collect quite a
good crop. As it happened, the parent colony (at the bottom) did not succeed in
raising a new queen so the old queen was retuned to them after the honey had
been taken. On the basis of one trial this method seemed to work and we will use it
again if the opportunity arises which it will no doubt. What I have tried to
demonstrate by these last two examples of the use of a Snelgrove board is what a
flexible tool it can be for the beekeeper who is prepared to try something new. The
only problem is that, when obtained from equipment suppliers, Snelgrove boards
tend to be quite expensive. This is why plans for making your own boards
accompany this last part of the series. There is nothing really complex about their
construction no fancy joints just a bit of accurate measurement and cutting and
its just a bit fiddly. Why not band together as a group of beekeepers or an
association and make a batch of Snelgrove boards?