Swarming with Snelgrove

How to hive a swarm: the Easy Way

Here’s the quickest, easiest way to hive a swarm from Master Beekeeper Jim Donohoe…

  1. 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
  2. A rapid feeder – Ashforth or Miller type
  3. Strong syrup
  4. 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:
Easy way to hive a swarm
I forgot to take the photo with the bees in it but this is how it looks next day
  • 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.

Click here for general information on hiving a swarm

Click here for Hiving a Swarm the Pretty Way

Click here for Hiving a Swarm the Brutal Way

Click here for Skep History

Click here for How to Make your own Skep

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