Swarm Prevention – Cut down Splits

If you have looked into your hives in the last few days it is very likely that you have seen signs of swarm preparation - rows of queen cups on the bottom of frames, dense populations, nectar choked hives with little room for the queen to lay in - maybe even swarm cells.

If you have looked into your hives in the last few days it is very likely that you have seen signs of swarm preparation - rows of queen cups on the bottom of frames, dense populations, nectar choked hives with little room for the queen to lay in - maybe even swarm cells.

Queens For Pennies

April is prime time for making increase (at least it is when there isn't a cold front blasting through) and while splitting hives is simple, effective and helps to manage swarming - you might also be interested in giving queen rearing a try. Now is the time to go for it if you are.

April is prime time for making increase (at least it is when there isn't a cold front blasting through) and while splitting hives is simple, effective and helps to manage swarming - you might also be interested in giving queen rearing a try. Now is the time to go for it if you are.

A few pointers for new beekeepers

If you see nectar being stored in brood comb during spring or summer you need to stop feeding or you will cause the hive to swarm. If it is natural nectar you need to take immediate action to prevent swarming.

Beekeeping isn’t rocket science, but an awful lot of beekeepers lose all or most of their bees every year.  You could read volumes about how to be a beekeeper, but if you commit to follow just a few suggestions you will increase your chances of success a great deal:

  • Do your weekly inspections – never let more than 2 weeks pass without one – make sure they stay queenright!  If this is the only thing you do it will increase your chances tremendously.
  • Keep them fed – but don’t overfeed and make them swarm.
  • Get at least one nucleus hive and split your hives  when they have at least 2 boxes full of bees and drawn comb.   I reccomend that you put robber screens on your nucs – or all hives for that matter if you have several hives of different sizes.
  • Treat them for mites (I reccomend Apiguard organic treatment for this one) sometime between July 15 – August 15.  Finishing treatments by August 15.
  • In mid-late September begin fast feeding heavy syrup until your hives have plenty of it stored for winter.
  • Treat again any time in December using a treatment which is appropriate for the temps at that time – MAQS, Apivar, Oxalic acid.
  • Don’t let them starve over winter – Properly applied Mt Camp sugar as insurance almost guarantees that your bees won’t starve to death during winter.

read more