This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Friday, May 29, 2015


The swarm season has started. Strong over wintered colonies are the most susceptible to swarming. A package can swarm if the hive gets crowded.  Most of the field bees, the honey collectors, leave with the swarm. A look in the hive may look like nothing has happened because there still will be a large amount of bees in the hive. When a beekeeper looks in the hive during the day most of the field bees are out foraging and are not in the hive. So that is why it doesn't look like nothing has changed. Usually the hive when it swarms, will make very little excess honey.
 Starting in late May, a overwintered hive should be inspected every 7 days to look for swarm cells. The swarm cells should be cut out before they are capped.
 Normally when swarm cells are capped, the bees swarm at this time.
Swarm cells, usually on the bottom of a frame, but can be in other locations.
Strong over wintered colonies should be divided or the bees will divide themselves with a swarm.
 When beekeeper looks in their hive and sees capped swarm cells. Normally there will be no eggs or small larvae on any frames. This is an indicator that the hive has swarmed. Or if the beekeeper looks in the colony and sees very little brood and really can't find swarm cells, the first impulse is to purchase a new queen. The hive could have swarmed. Sometimes the bees tear down the swarm cells and leaves a beekeeper unsure of what has happened. If a new queen is put into the hive and there is a queen in the hive already, the new queen will be killed by the newly hatched queen.
 I think a good way to confirm what is happening is this: Take a frame of eggs and put it in the broodless hive. If the bees start making queen cells on the frames with eggs, we could surmise the hive has no queen. If the frame with eggs develops normally, the assumption is that a queen is present and has not started to lay yet