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Catching a swarm is a great way to increase your hive numbers. Swarms are generally mild mannered when they have clustered on a branch or other overhang. If possible, just snip the branch off or give whatever they are hanging on to a good thump and drop them into a bucket. Wait until dusk and pour your bees into a single box hive with frames and foundation, preferably a couple of frames of honey and they will settle quite successfully.
Re-queening each year is a good method of varroa control, as it interrupts the laying cycle and displaces the mites.
Add extra storeys or boxes as the hive grows. Too much room and the bees struggle to defend the area, too little room and they risk swarming.
Extract your honey at night in a closed room. If you do it during the day and the bees get to know what you are doing, you will have every bee in a 5km radius on your doorstep – not good!
Always clean up any comb or honey around your hives. Exposed honey will trigger a robbing response and you will have a feeding frenzy on your hands.
For further information on our range of beekeeping products, visit your local Farmlands store or call 0800 200 600.
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