Swarming with Snelgrove

How to hive a swarm: the Pretty Way

There are several ways to hive a swarm. Here’s how to do it the traditional way with a ramp and a sheet. It’s probably the slowest method but well worth doing at least once for the spectacle!

Materials
  • The hive stand
  • The hive complete with frames preferably a couple of drawn frames and a couple of stores. The rest can be foundation
  • A rapid feeder – Ashforth or Miller type
  • Heavy 2:1 syrup
  • A lowish hive stand or box
  • A board which can be set against the hive at a gentle angle
  • A white sheet
Method
  • Do this at dusk or late in the afternoon
  • Put the two drawn frames into the middle and the two frames of stores at the edges
  • Set the hive ‘the cold way’ ie with frames perpendicular to the entrance. The drawn frames will have a bee-ish smell and set the cold way and with these in the middle the bees will notice more quickly and be drawn in
  • Remove the entrance block
  • Put the feeder on
  • Fill with syrup and prime it i.e. slop some syrup over the feeding slot and onto the frames below
  • Set the board so that it is propped against the floor just below the entrance at a low angle (about 30 degrees) and secure with a brick or some such so it won’t slide
  • Spread the white sheet over the board, tuck it in and smooth out the wrinkles
  • Get your skep and tip the bees onto the sheet-covered ramp
  • Settle down and watch
  • If they won’t get moving give the tail end a few gentle puffs of smoke
  • Keep an eye out for the queen
  • If there is more than one there could be a scrap – they go at it like Jack Russel terriers or so I am told
  • The bees will start to walk up the ramp slowly at first
  • Once the queen has gone in they will speed up – sometimes this can be really fast

Click here for general information on hiving a swarm

Click here for the Easy Way to Hive a Swarm

Click here for the No-Frills Way to Hive a Swarm

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