December 22, 2014

Preparing for Swarm Season

Front view of a hivebody-style bait hive for catching swarms; the vertical board is for nailing and/or tying to a tree trunk or other structure. The hardware cloth on the front entrance is there to prevent mice from moving in. PHOTO: ANNE FREY

Making Your Own Bait Hives Now that you’re finished with your winter of building and repairing supers, brood boxes and frames, think about the possibility of building bait hives in preparation for the May/ June swarm season. A bait hive is a swarm-catching box. I have captured some nice swarms in boxes set in trees, and it seems easier than answering a swarm call, which may come at an … [Read more...]

Remember That Swarm Trap?

The remnants of a undetected colony who had moved into a swarm trap last season

Remember that great contraption you built in the hopes of catching and hiving a swarm? Well, make sure you check it carefully from time to time for inhabitants! Jacky discovered unexpected contents in his mentoree’s swarm trap which had been left out over the winter. Apparently, the beekeeper’s swarm had indeed moved in sometime last season, but its activity was never noticed. Not … [Read more...]