Swarm Control - Apis Mellifera Beekeeping Course

Apis Mellifera
Beekeeping Course
by Amazing Bees
Apis Mellifera
Beekeeping Course
by Amazing Bees
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Swarm Control

Session 5
Swarm Control

Swarming – an undesirable side effect of unmanaged Hives

If you don’t control swarming when required your neighbourhood will be blessed every spring or summer with swarms emerging from your unmanaged hives. Usually one swarm per hive every year!

You must be very observant to make sure that a colony does not swarm.

What to do and where to start?

Hive Inspection during the Swarming Season; i.e. from September to December – every seven to nine days!
To determine whether steps need to be undertaken to prevent swarming the hive should be inspected every seven to nine days. This interval provides sufficient time to act if the bees have started building queen cells since the previous inspection.

If a Hive Inspection during the Swarming Season reveals Queen Cells,  your bees are preparing to multiply and as a result will swarm, if they haven’t done so already.

Queen cell
Before a swarm emerges, a colony of bees raises a small number of successor queens in so called queen cells, one cell per queen.
Before any of the successor queens emerge, approximately half of the bee colony leaves the nest, together with the old queen.

Before they leave, the bees stop feeding the old queen for her to reduce egg production and slim down, otherwise she would be unable to fly.

Before they leave the worker bees fill their honey stomach with honey to provide them with food for a few days and to produce wax for building new comb.

Swarming will occur within 1-9 days after the first queen cell has been capped. It takes nine days after capping for the new queen to emerge; by this time the old queen with the swarm must have left the nest.

A successful method to control swarming in this case is to create an “artificial swarm” – create a swarm under your control rather than leaving it to the bees.

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