Hiving a swarm is usually a trouble-free operation but it can all go horribly wrong. Here are a few points to consider which may affect the success of the operation: Continue reading Hiving a Swarm
The no-frills method to hive a swarm is also known as the Brutal way. Here’s how it’s done… Continue reading How to hive a swarm: the No Frills 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! Continue reading How to hive a swarm: the Pretty Way
Your first swarm is something you never forget…
It was our first year as beekeepers. We’d done the course, joined the local association then, come spring, we bought two nucs. Continue reading First Swarm
Finding an unmarked queen is difficult enough so getting her marked early in the season is vital for what comes later. As an illustration of that – see if you can spot the queen in the photo above – experienced beekeepers hold your whist!
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the same photo but with the queen marked. Continue reading How to find the Queen
A Snelgrove board is essential but it need not be an expensive addition to the beekeeper’s armoury. This one below was home-made by me and if I can make one anybody can. If you have never seen one before, click the picture below for a closer view. Continue reading Make your own Snelgrove Board
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
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.
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
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!
Swarming is what bees do – if they are healthy they will swarm, so take that on board and you won’t be disappointed.
Swarm prevention is what you do before you find cells with larvae in them. If you find cells with larvae in them – you’re into swarm control. Continue reading Swarm Prevention