Here’s the quickest, easiest way to hive a swarm from Master Beekeeper Jim Donohoe…
- The hive you are going to put the swarm into, equipped with at least 2 frames of stores and 2 drawn frames – the rest can be foundation
- A rapid feeder – Ashforth or Miller type
- Strong syrup
- A spare brood box.
At this point I’m going to assume your skep is face down on the ground, or on a sheet like the one in the photo above but with the swarm hanging up inside it.
- Do this at dusk or late in the afternoon
- Set up your hive floor on the stand where you want the swarm to live;
- Gently turn your skep upside down and set it quietly on the floor inside the spare, empty brood box thus:
- Get your other brood box and set it on top of the box with the skep in it;
- Set the rapid feeder on top, fill with strong syrup and prime it ie slop an amount over the feeder rim onto the frames below;
- Put the roof on;
- Walk away;
- During the night, as long as they have a queen with them, the bees will walk up out of the skep and by morning will have occupied the frames and be taking down syrup;
- If your swarm is absolutely huge – it might take a bit longer.
Next day remove the empty skep and the spare brood box.
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