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Back to one brood box after swarming?


Hi everyone

My hive just swarmed yesterday afternoon. They picked a strange day for swarming. It was very cloudy and it was raining slightly. It was a very impressing sight tough! All the bees and that loud humming! They clustered in a apple tree just next to the hive so I was able recover the swarm. :grin:
My question now is do I reduce my hive to one brood box again and use the frames I had in the second brood box for my new colony? Hope you understand what I mean! :slight_smile:

Cheers Flo :bee:


If you are working 2 brood boxes - Leave all but a couple of frames in with the original brood box ie new queen - make sure any Queen Cells are in the original box…

Give the Swarm - the old Queen 2 drawn frames and fill the box with new frames for them to draw out.

Or did you want to combine both Hives back to one hive?


Hi Valli

Thanks for your quick response! No I would like to set up a second hive. So if I got it right I leave my first hive with 2 brood boxes and just take 2 drawn frames (with or without brood?) out and put them in my new hive.


then go out an buy more spare equipment LOL


Hi Flo, yes that’s what I would do. However you’d need to make sure there are no queen cells on the frames you provide for the swarm.

It would be a good opportunity to weed out any frames you’d like to remove so you can give the swarm some frames with fresh foundation.

Watch out for any secondary swarm that may issue. Just thinking: Even if you reduce the parent hive down to one box of bees & frames, I’d be inclined to leave an empty box on top. So the remaining bees still have the same internal hive dimensions they are used to. If you constrict the hive space, that may trigger a secondary swarm. This is what I would do initially, just to be on the safe side.

Good luck with everything, bye


Thanks Jeff! Will do as advised! :slight_smile:

Cheerio Flo :bee:


Your welcome, thank YOU Flo, cheers

PS, it’s a golden opportunity to make a third hive, it you want. Just divide the parent hive in two giving each one equal queen cells. Plenty of options you have there.


Hi FLOZZA - Its the Captain from down under ,
another move I would consider is to relocate your new hive a distance of 5 + km from the parent hive for a few weeks . This will eliminate the drift between hives keeping the new colony strong with workers .
By swarm catching near the old hive you are reducing the natural distance a swarm would normally travel away from the old hive . This may weaken the new hive startup but not fatally .
When the new hive is hatching new workers -say from 23 days onwards , the old hive will be requeened and producing young and the remaining bees will be conditioned to the new pheromone smell in the hive . Then you can relocate the hives next to each other again with minimal drift occurring .
The downside to this move would be the isolation of the hives should the old queen die . Observe then , then Simply move them back together they will re-assimilate (,newspaper etc) Just keep observing and do not open the new hive for 7-10 days after swarming . Observe the pollen movement as a high pollen gathering ratio to nectar only , generally means brood is being laid . A hopelessly queenless hive will also desperately induce workers to lay but they can only lay drones so keep observing even if the queen is not visible . New worker cells can only mean an active queen has been laying .
Also just remember all problems can just about be solved by adding a frame of worker brood and new eggs to any new hive .Do this for 3 x consecutive weeks and you supercharge your new colony with new workers and they will be producing honey in your honeyflow window .
Ensure you do not accidentally add any queen cells and there you have it .Bingo .
Cheers CM.


Thanks again everyone for your help! I had to change my plan. Almost no one is using langstroth hives here in switzerland so they are quite difficult to get! And i don’t want to mix different hive and frame sizes so I talked to a guy who is having bees since 40 years an he told me that I could also put the swarm back into the original hive. So I did what he instructed me to do and it all went well. I have the new queen in my hive now and she is laying eggs. Just marked her today and she looks great! :grin:

As for the langstroth problem I decided to build my one boxes. I have a friend who is a carpenter and also beekeeper and he will hep me with it! :slight_smile:

So next time I will be prepared! :+1:

cheers :bee: