Category Archives: Swarming

Swarm control – Demaree

The Demaree method of swarm control, devised by Kentucky beekeeper George Demaree in 1892, is a very effective method of preventing swarms but it will only work on strong colonies which have not begun making queen cells.  I’ve been using it for the past 4-5 years with great success especially when used in conjunction with a Snelgrove board. That way you can prevent a swarm, get a new queen and a great crop of honey.

Here’s how to do it: Continue reading Swarm control – Demaree

Hooper’s Five Questions

Ted Hooper’s five questions – as described in his book ‘Guide to Bees and Honey’ were devised to walk the beekeeper through his or her weekly inspections. The first 5 columns in the Colony Assessment Sheet are there for you record the answers.

Take a look at this frame of bees above – yes there are several things there that should put you on alert!

What you do, or don’t do, in response is the essence of beekeeping. Continue reading Hooper’s Five Questions

Book Review: ‘Swarming: its Prevention and Control’ by L.E.Snelgrove

Louis Edward Snelgrove was a great beekeeper of the 1930’s. He was a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society,  President of the Somerset Beekeepers Association and also of the British Beekeepers Association.  He wrote 3 books on aspects of beekeeping and queen rearing but the most famous must be ‘Swarming – Its  Prevention and Control’ first published in 1934 and is still in print today – luckily for us.

The Master - in Control

Anyone in doubt about his credentials need only look at the cover of the book to see this is a man who knew how to control his swarms – note the steely gaze and not a bee out of place. Assuming of course that this is a picture of himself! Continue reading Book Review: ‘Swarming: its Prevention and Control’ by L.E.Snelgrove

Artificial Swarm

The artificial swarm is the most common way of dealing with a hive which is preparing to swarm but for it to be successful, the bees need to be quite well advanced along that road.

Ideally (and this is important) your hive will have cells which are close to being capped. If not it would be best if possible to leave them for another few days. Detailed verbiage next or scroll to the bottom of the page  for diagrammatic nutshell and links to multimeeja:

Equipment: Continue reading Artificial Swarm

Swarming and How to Control it

Swarm control is what you do when swarm prevention didn’t work and you discover larvae in queen cells; if you find eggs in cells it means nothing but once there are larvae you are in trouble! It doesn’t mean you failed by the way – it just means that circumstances have conspired to make the urge to swarm irresistible. Welcome to firefighting!

Continue reading Swarming and How to Control it