I was wondering whether the split in my colony on Saturday would definitely lessen the urge to swarm and it seems from Lynne’s post it may not! Don’t know what to suggest Lynne- how frustrating. Perhaps the popcorn might be best.

I just noticed several bees showing great interest in one of my bait hives. I don’t think they are from one of my colonies but there are other beekeepers in the village. I would of course be very happy to “catch me a swarm” but then what? Do I leave it in situ or move it immediately to a hive? Would I have to move it further away (ie 3 miles ish) before bringing it back to my apiary? Does it need to be quarantined somewhere away from my bees? All really basic questions but confronted with the reality I find I am not sure what to do and would be very grateful for any suggestions.

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2 Responses to swarms

  1. Lynne says:

    I hear that a split can work sometimes, so good very luck with your split, Sue.

    When we caught a swarm in the bait hive before, that night we positioned it next to where the hive was we planned to move them into, but then left them at peace in the bait hive for about a week. This was so that they could build up some comb on the bars and the queen start laying. Then we moved those bars/combs/bees all together in a block into the new hive. The bees not transferred on the combs seemed to eventually locate the rest of their colony because it was just next-door and they could smell it.

    That method of leaving them for about a week before moving into the hive seemed to work fine probably because once they have made a new ‘nest’ then they have committed resources to it and so are very inclined to stay with it.

    P.S. I think the thing about moving >3 miles away is only if you want to break their mapping of where back ‘home’ is – i.e. if you don’t want them to move back to where they were located previously, so it won’t apply to a swarm that has chosen a new home.


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