Mountain Sweet Honey

How does a beekeeper attract a swarm?

A swarm is mostly a natural occurrence that honey bees do as part of their genetic make-up.

The two most common reasons for swarms can be (1) lack of space within the hive and (2) lack of food within the hive and in the immediate vicinity of the hive.

The beekeeper can reduce the risk of swarming by adding a super when the colony has utilized 80% of the space within the hive. Once the colony hits 90% or greater of utilized space you will begin to see queen cells. Queen cells are the start of the colony wanting to split or swarm.

The second most common reason for swarming is lack of food within the hive and within the vicinity of the hive. The colony and queen will leave the hive and find a home nearer to a better nectar source. The beekeeper can greatly reduce swarming by feeding 1:1 ratio sugar water. This feeding should carry the bees need for feeding until the nectar begins to flow.

By placing a swarm trap within 25 yards of your apiary you can expect to catch 50% of the swarms by doing these simple steps.

1. Purchase a swarm trap.
2. Point the swarm trap in a Southeast position.
3. Place the swarm trap 10 ft high.
4. Anchor the swarm trap well so winds do not nock it off the tree.
5. Place old black wax inside of the swarm trap. Bees really like this!
6. Then rub six drops of lemongrass essential oil on the inside of the swarm trap.
7. You can also add 5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil to the inside of the swarm trap.

The essential oils are high enjoyed by honey bees.

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