Beekeeping Information Centre

Bee Craft Timely Reminder – 23rd May 2018

If you haven’t already done so, dedicate one day to give your colony a thorough inspection for disease, especially foulbrood, and also check for queen cells.

May and June are the most common months for swarming. Swarms can cause difficulties with neighbours and losing a swarm from your own hive will drastically reduce the number of bees in a colony which in turn will mean less honey and a smaller colony to overwinter.

It can’t be emphasised enough about making preparations for swarming. This is one of the first complex manipulations many new beekeepers will need to undertake and it is described in detail in many beekeeping books. There are variations on the theme but in all cases it is important to understand what the bees are trying to do and how your manipulations will affect them. Research the various manipulations that can be used and select the one which you feel most comfortable with doing.

The swarming instinct is a strong one but the beekeeper can manage swarming and even turn it to advantage, by means of the artificial swarm.

Read about performing an artificial swarm in the Beekeeping Information Centre on our website.

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