HOW TO CATCH SWARM
Catching a swarm of bees can be an exciting and rewarding experience for beekeepers. Here’s a general guide on how to catch a swarm safely:
- Be Prepared: Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary equipment ready. You’ll need a swarm trap or box to catch the bees, protective clothing such as a bee suit and gloves, a smoker, and some basic beekeeping tools.
- Timing: Swarming usually occurs in the spring or early summer when the bee colony population is at its peak. Keep an eye out for swarming activity around your apiary or nearby areas during this time.
- Locate the Swarm: Swarms can gather on various objects such as tree branches, fences, or even on the side of buildings. Once you spot a swarm, identify the location and assess if it’s accessible and safe to collect.
- Approach Carefully: When approaching the swarm, move slowly and calmly to avoid agitating the bees. Wear your protective clothing, light the smoker, and gently puff some smoke around the swarm to help calm the bees further.
- Position the Swarm Box: Place the swarm trap or box near the swarm location. If the swarm is clustered on a branch, gently shake or brush them into the box. Alternatively, you can cut the branch and lower it directly into the box.
- Collecting the Swarm: With your gloved hands, gently scoop any remaining bees into the box. Avoid crushing the bees or causing them unnecessary harm. Be patient and allow the bees to enter the box at their own pace.
- Seal the Box: Once the majority of the bees are inside the box, close the entrance and make sure it’s secure to prevent the bees from escaping during transport.
- Transport: Carefully move the swarm box to its final location in your apiary or bee yard. Ensure that the box is well-ventilated during transport to prevent overheating.
- Provide a Hive: Once you have the swarm in its final location, transfer the bees into a suitable beehive. Provide them with frames containing honey and pollen to help them establish their new colony.
- Monitor: After catching the swarm, monitor the new colony regularly to ensure they are thriving and healthy. Offer them proper care and attention, and they will likely develop into a strong hive.
Remember that working with bees can be risky, especially if you’re inexperienced. If you’re unsure about catching a swarm or dealing with bees, it’s best to seek assistance from an experienced beekeeper or a local beekeeping club to ensure your safety and the well-being of the bees.