Swarm season is here

Swarms are beginning to pop up around Oxfordshire. I know of one yesterday just outside Oxford and one today here 10 miles north of Oxford, and my neighbours tell me there was another (or possibly the same one!) 2 days ago. So make sure your swarm collecting kit is to hand…

Want to report a swarm of honeybees?

Read this short article to make sure they are honeybees and then Contact Us or  OBKA’s Swarm liaison officer, who will run through what to do with you.

Want to get a swarm?

  • If you are a Member of ONBG let us and other Members know you are on the look-out;
  • if you are also a Member of OBKA then make sure you are on their swarm collection list as they get to hear of large numbers of swarms – contact OBKA’s Swarm liaison officer;
  • make sure your neighbours know you are looking for a swarm;
  • set up a bait hive.

A bait hive is an empty box, or even a full size empty hive. Some people just use an upturned plant pot and seal the base. You try to make it attractive to bees by making it smell like a home to them with old wax comb, lemongrass oil, propolis; if you have no propolis to hand try laying resinous tree branches round it. If it just smells like freshly sawn wood it isn’t as attractive. It must also be in a location mimicking their ideal tree hole – shaded from midday sun, and above head height (above predators). This latter condition is tricky for a full size hive which is why most bait hives are small. Google bait hive for more information and many differing opinions.

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One Response to Swarm season is here

  1. simplebees says:

    Here’s a neat solution to those high up swarms: http://solarbeez.com/2014/04/16/using-the-steinkraus-morse-swarm-catcher/

    Gareth

    Like

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