Thursday, May 5, 2016


Beekeeper Jack has been encouraging us to get our swarm traps built and out in the woods.  Like most people I have procrastinated.  Today while stealing a few frames of brood from one of my stronger hives to set up a nuc I noticed that the hive had 9 swarm cells hanging from the bottom of two frames.  These cells were still open, but did have a larvae in them.

A hive will swarm right after the queen cells get capped.  In this case I estimate the cells will be capped in 2 to 3 days based on the size of the larvae.   Luckily I had removed the queen cells with the frames for the nuc.  This should suppress the urge to swarm, unless I missed a queen cell somewhere else in the hive.   I replaced the removed frames with new bare frames so the queen will have more room to lay.  This should also suppress that urge to swarm.

Overpopulated hives will swarm between now and about June 30th.  So if you haven't put out your swarm trap yet you still have a little time to do it.  Who knows, you might catch your own swarm, a swarm from the neighbor's apiary or a wild swarm.


Beeman said...

I just found your blog. I'm located in Price Co. I have 2 TBH's and 1 lang. I'm now learning about langs, and I have a lot to learn. Are there wild honey bee's in this part of the state?

Fred Ransome said...

I am not familiar with Price Co. It is about 150 miles north of our club's area of operation. I would check with other beekeepers in your area as to your question.