Swarming with Snelgrove

How to hive a swarm: the No Frills Way

The no-frills method to hive a swarm is also known as the Brutal way. Here’s how it’s done…Materials

  • The hive, equipped with frames including two frames of stores and two frames of drawn foundation if possible
  • A rapid feeder – Ashforth or Miller type
  • Strong syrup – 2:1
  • An empty super – no frames – just the box
  • A lit smoker belching plenty of smoke
  • A bit of foam rubber
  • Do this at dusk or late in the afternoon
  • Set your hive on the stand
  • Plug the entrance with foam rubber
  • Remove the roof and crownboard
  • Add the empty super – this is just to receive the bees and stop them all falling over the edges
  • Pour the skepful of bees carefully into the super making sure you get all the bees out
  • Smoke them down into the brood box
  • Remove the super making sure you brush off all the bees
  • Put the feeder on, fill with syrup and prime it ie trickle syrup over the feeder rim and on to the frames below
  • Add crownboard and roof
  • Leave for an hour or so then remove the foam. Don’t leave it too long if your swarm is enormous or your floor is the solid variety – they might stifle.

Click here for general information on hiving a swarm

Click here for the Easy Way to Hive a Swarm

Click here for the Pretty Way to Hive a Swarm

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2 thoughts on “How to hive a swarm: the No Frills Way”

  1. Hi gimlet
    If my one hive swarmed and I caught it,
    could I put it back in the same box -just like that
    removing any queen cells first.
    Sorry to read about your dog and stick, hope he is recovering.
    Maybe some ice cream.

    1. Hello Mary,
      If you did that, so long as the swarm had a queen, they would come straight out again leaving the young bees behind to raise more cells from the young larvae left in the brood.
      If their queen was lost during the manoeuvre they would stay long enough to raise more cells then they’d be off again with the first virgin to emerge.
      The best thing to do is try and prevent swarming from happening in the first place by giving plenty of supers before they need them.
      So, if they still want to swarm, and mostly they will want to if they are strong and healthy, then use swarm control such as an artificial swarm to try and fool them into thinking they have swarmed.
      Once they have made up their mind there isn’t much that will change it except a strong flow.
      Murphy’s much better now thank you. I didn’t think of ice cream – he’d love that! Instead I was soaking his biscuits in bovril. Sloppy fat off a bacon joint went down well too.

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