This is the time of year in our area that the honey bees start swarming. They’ve been active since spring and there has been lots of good bloom going on, so the hives have grown and some are becoming crowded.
As soon as a queen notices her hive’s becoming a little crowded, she’ll lay some queen cells and when one hatches out, she leaves and takes part of the original hive with her in a “swarm”. I was working down in our garden (which our hives surround), and noticed that one of the hives had swarmed and the bees were temporarily camping out on our raspberries.
Catching the swarm and homing it in a new hive is an easy way to increase your bee hive numbers, so I’m always on the lookout for swarms during the summer.
Most folks think that catching a swarm and homing it in a hive is difficult, but it’s really very easy.
That’s because honey bees are at their most docile when they’re swarming. They’re no longer protecting a home, they’re looking for a home – so they tend to be very easy to handle when they’re swarming.
Getting them into a new home is as simple as picking up as much of the swarm as possible (notice that he’s not even using gloves),
and dropping them into their new home.
Wasn’t that easy? As long as you’ve captured the queen in the hive, everything should go well.
Now just put the hive lid back on,
And wait for all the bees that didn’t make it in with the swarm to find their way into the hive.
And here’s the new hive the next day, it looks like activity is normal, and the bees are busy getting their new home in order.
I’m very sure it’s swarm season now, because we got another call today to pick up another swarm!