অসমীয়া   বাংলা   बोड़ो   डोगरी   ગુજરાતી   ಕನ್ನಡ   كأشُر   कोंकणी   संथाली   মনিপুরি   नेपाली   ଓରିୟା   ਪੰਜਾਬੀ   संस्कृत   தமிழ்  తెలుగు   ردو

Bee Swarm

What is Bee Swarm?

  • bee swarmSwarm is group of honey-bees who have left their original/old colony to start a new colony normally with the old Queen.
  • Swarming is the natural method honeybee colonies use for multiplying their colonies.
  • Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the original colony replaces the old Queen.
  • They leave the hive with about half of the worker bees and as much honey as they can carry.
  • The swarms settle 20–30 meters away from the natal nest for a few hours and then departs for a new nest site after getting information from scout bees.
  • Scout bees search for suitable cavities in which to construct the swarm’s home. Successful scouts will then come back and report the location of suitable nesting sites to the other bees.
  • It’s in this stage that swarms can be captured with the help of an swarm bag and colonize an empty hive. Swarms are immediately ready to start building comb in their new home.
  • Catching and transferring a swarm in bee-hive is one of the method to populate the colonies.
  • Swarms that are local to the areas they are found in are guaranteed to have survived the monsoon in that climate, and were strong enough to split in post monsoon season. This method of obtaining bees aids in the goal of spreading strong colonies for local honeybee populations.
  • swarm bag Bee veil

Facts to Ponder

  • The bees’ buzz is the sound made by their wings which beat 11,400 times per minute.
  • The practice of beekeeping dates back at least 4,500 years.
  • The bee’s brain is oval in shape and about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has a remarkable capacity to learn and remember things. For example, it is able to make complex calculations on distance traveled and foraging efficiency.
  • There are people in Kerala and Africa that keep elephants out of their fields by keeping honey bee hives around the fields in what is called a ‘bee fence’.
  • Drones die after mating with a queen.

How to Catch a Swarm?

  • The cluster should be calm and composed at one location for a long time and should ideally be within your hands reach.catch a swarm
  • Open the swarm bag from one end and cover it bottom to top.
  • Shake the bees off in the swarm bag.
  • Immediately flip the swarm bag once you’re sure the swarm is in the bag.
  • Close the open end of the swarm bag.
  • Take the swarm bag towards the beehive where you’ll transfer it.
  • Make sure the Queen gate is present while transferring the swarm into the bee-box (hive).
  • Open the hive after ten (10) days.

Attracting a Swarm/Colony into your Empty Hive

Swarm and Scout bees

  • Honey-bees tend to swarm particularly in fine weather coincides with pollen and nectar flow (between October- February).queen cells
  • When you start to see Drones and Queen cells in your hives, you know it’s time to put your bait hives (empty hives) and swarm traps out (Sugar water)!

The Bait

  • It often starts with one to two bees hovering around the potential home to evaluate the empty hive placed.sugar feeding station
  • But if you aren't seeing any bee activity, you might want to consider putting a Sugar Water feeding inside the hive (Keep a watch for ants).
  • Nearby most scout bees start out as foragers, so if you can attract foragers to your location, there is a chance some of them may scout your empty hive!
  • During this site evaluation period, it is important not to disturb anything or you might discourage the bees from settling there.

The Trap

  • Bees love living in locations where other bees have lived before and if there's already comb inside, it's like finding a furnished apartment.trap hive
  • So try to keep old combs in your hive and don't worry about how perfect the combs are.
  • Swarms bring in a clean up crew before they move in. Scouts drag out debris and chew away at moldy combs in the days prior to moving.
  • Bees prefer cavities of a certain volume and lean towards homes with small entrances.
  • Set your (Bee-hive) within 3-4ft of the ground with queen gate open.

After the Victory

  • If you successfully lure a swarm, be careful not to disturb them for the first two weeks.
  • Some swarms are queen-less or come with a virgin queen. Therefore, it’s important that you inspect them and search for 1-3 days eggs to verify that the queen is mated and laying.

Feeding the bees

Sugar water is one way of feeding your bees in dearth periods. It provides them with nourishment and much-needed energy boosts when there’s no nectar source for bees around.

How to make the Sugar Feeding?

  • For monsoon and summer feeding, use a 2:1 ratio of sugar and water (e.g. :- 6 cups of water to 3 cups of sugar).
  • For Winter use a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water (e.g. :- 3 cups of sugar to 3 cups of water).
  • Boil the water first and then after it becomes little warmer add sugar and mix it well until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Make sure that the mixture does not boil, boiled sugar causes digestive problems for the bees.
  • Add the sugar water to the feeder, cup or any other feeding material. Let the mixture cool, then add the sugar syrup to the feeder material used (mud cups, coconut shell, food grade plastic).
  • Make sure you’re also putting some small sticks in the feeder cup to support the bees while drinking the sugar water.

When to give the feeding?

  • Avoid spilling or leaving syrup open to bees in the apiary.feeding
  • Feeding syrup excites bees and is usually done when there is no, or little nectar flow available. Care should be taken to prevent robbing.
  • When feeding in dearth periods feed all the colonies in the evening. Night will help control outside hive activity.
  • Watch for signs of robbing – bees fighting, erratic flight and bees trying to enter a hive without meeting the guards. Generally stronger colonies rob weaker ones.
  • If robbing starts, reduce the entrance to one bee space using an entrance block and/or grass. This enables guard bees to protect the colony more efficiently.

Source: Khadi and Village Industries Commission



© 2006–2019 C–DAC.All content appearing on the vikaspedia portal is through collaborative effort of vikaspedia and its partners.We encourage you to use and share the content in a respectful and fair manner. Please leave all source links intact and adhere to applicable copyright and intellectual property guidelines and laws.
English to Hindi Transliterate