Swarm control and elusive queens

Many beekeepers struggle to routinely find the queen, particularly in a very busy colony. For 90% of the beekeeping season whether you find the queen or not is irrelevant … you can tell if she’s present because there are eggs in the colony (so she must have laid them in the last 3 days) and, […]

Principles of swarm control

Having introduced swarm prevention last week it’s probably timely to now consider the basic principles of swarm control. This is going to be relatively high level overview of why swarm control works (which it usually does if implemented properly), rather than a detailed ‘how to’ guide. That’s because knowing what to do and when to […]

Demaree swarm control

I’ve covered three swarm control methods in previous posts. These are the classic Pagden artificial swarm, the vertical split that is directly comparable but requires less equipment and more lifting, and the nucleus method. As described on this site, if successful, all achieve the same two things: They prevent a swarm being lost. Don’t underestimate how […]

Biological control with Varroa

Synopsis : Honey bees were eradicated on Santa Cruz Island following the introduction of Varroa. This provides some useful lessons for beekeepers on the importance of controlling Varroa. Introduction Honey bees are not native to North America. They were first introduced in March 1622 at Jamestown, Virginia. The bees did well and spread west, following […]

Shook swarms and miticides

Synopsis : Combining a shook swarm with miticide treatment removes most mites in the colony and dramatically reduces DWV levels. The application of this strategy for practical beekeeping is discussed. Introduction Why does Varroa have such a devastating impact on colony health? Feeding on haemolymph – or the abdominal fat body – by Varroa is probably detrimental. […]