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Hive swarmed and caught, what now?


@JeffH Your last few contributions on this subject make so much sense and you have a wealth of knowledge in bee keeping from personal experience.
I have always used wire queen excluders primarily for the simple reason that when I am taking frames for extraction I know the queen in not being taken from the hive as well as no brood and for that reason alone validates the value of the excluder.
When I came up to a subtropical climate from temperatures of both extremes and decided on getting back into bee keeping I found that there was of a lot of bee keeping I had to learn again. I value your input and help personally as well as on the forum.
Cheers mate


Thanks for those kind words Peter. I’m just in for lunch. I pulled my boat out of the water today!!! Not before time. I’ll get back to it, cheers


I am not putting down any text book guideline as such… When I ran sourdough classes at home, I always told my student that I can only teach them the basic of bread making, they should research further and experiment more to find out the best way to suit them, there are no straight method that is suitable for everyone, as long you try, to make mistakes, failures and learn from it.


I agree Dani, I make artisan bread, using a poolish. One thing about bread is: if you make a mistake, you still have something that is in some way edible :slight_smile:

We make lots of mistakes with bees. Most times they’re fixable. It’s amazing what a difference it makes if we can draw from another colony like I mentioned earlier.

I think artisan bread is a bit like beekeeping, we’re always looking to improve.


I made some with a 12 hour poolish this weekend to give away. Except I am not giving it away. It over-proofed on the first rise (room temp was higher than I expected), and the final loaf is now as dense as a brick because the second rise was pathetic. I should probably send it to @busso for one of his building projects. :blush:


Wish I had your boat this arvo at my hives. It fell down, hope the farmers get their share too.


Wilfred is smiling. :slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Dawn, they still may be edible. You can refrigerate it for a while, then cut it thin with an electric knife. Cut the slices into triangles. Lightly spray with garlic flavored cooking spray then place under the griller, turning once until they go light brown & crisp. They make beautiful dippers. I know you can’t eat bread. Can you eat something like that with some fresh salsa or guacamole?

Hi @Peter48, it certainly came down this arvo. Apparently most of Queensland is going to be getting some good rain until Sunday.


Thanks for the encouragement and ideas, @JeffH. With the new medicines I have been taking, I have found I can tolerate about 70g of bread. Any more, and I regret it. So we are doing almost exactly as you suggest. Slice thin, freeze, remove a slice and toast as desired. Great with honey or scrambled eggs and tomatoes. The tomatoes help to moisturize the heavy bread! :blush:

I will make some more when I have bought some Bread Flour - this is my first failure with this recipe, and I need to get back on the horse! :smile:


You’re welcome Dawn, all I can think of is maybe you put too much yeast in the poolish for it to rise so much with the first rise. I’m currently using 3kg total flour, therefore my poolish is 1kg of flour, 1 litre of water & only a 1/3 tsp of yeast. I hope that helps, cheers


Maybe, but the recipe I used makes the poolish first, then combines it with the other ingredients for a primary rise. The primary rise should be a double after the combining. In the time suggested, mine increased about six-fold. The secondary rise is about 50% or whatever is needed to make the dough puffy but indentable.

The recipe is here, if you are interested, and there is a tool to switch from US measures to grams etc…

Relevance to honey and bees? This bread is very easy to make, and when made properly, it is superb for using with honey liberally drizzled over buttered bread. :blush:


Update: To get thread on track , the swarm hive I took to my sons house absconded, I did not add any brood, my bad. :cry:.
I went back into the parent hive on Monday 8th and destroyed all queen cells bar two fat ones, there was about 6 capped and 10 uncapped (about day 7 age). Plan to go back Friday and destroy any emergency cells, how that sound as a recovery plan?

To get off track again here are some of my sour dough offerings I built a wood oven about 4 years ago.

and make these


Wow, I love your oven (and your bread!). :blush:

Sorry that your swarm absconded. They can be tricky. As @JeffH says, the trick is to give them something that feels like an investment (a frame of open brood). However, that doesn’t always work either. Bees are elusive things with a (hive) mind of their own! :wink:


I agree with @Dawn_SD beautiful bread & oven. I have a boule as well as a batard baneton, however I mainly make short baguettes with 240grams of dough. I wait till they cool down, then cut them in 1/2 on a diagonal before freezing them. That way I only thaw one out at a time. It makes beautiful crunchy toast.

Back on topic: I always use a frame with open brood when hiving a swarm. If you leave them on site, they can abscond, leaving the brood behind. I have never had any abscond on me when I added the frame of brood, (the more open brood, the better) then took the bees elsewhere. Namely back to my place.

Back off topic, Dawn, I love the King Arthur baguette videos. Very inspiring. I try to copy those blokes.

Back off topic: PS Dawn, I just read the recipe. I only use the 1/3 tsp of instant dry yeast for the poolish, which consists of around 4 cups of water. That is the only yeast I use. The poolish after about 10 hours becomes the starter. No more yeast. The trick is to get the poolish at it’s maximum rise while combining the rest of the ingredients. If it has reached it’s peak, then starts deflating before you add the rest of the ingredients, you’ll need to add more yeast.

Edit @Dawn_SD: My second rise will be about 5-6 hours until it doubles in size, after that a stretch & fold once every hour for 2 hours before I start scaling the dough. I cut out 6 baguettes. Then put the dough back into the bucket until I’m ready for 6 more & so on until the dough’s gone. I’d better get going cheers


Your recovery plan sounds pretty good to me. That bread look great. Well done with the bee’s and the bread too.
Cheers Anthony


We do the amounts and sequence for bread as Jeff, just with sourdough that we keep going. The stretch and fold, we do five times.
No bees are used in the recipe, but a drop of honey on the finished and buttered product, yummy.


Wow, What a beauty. :open_mouth:


Off Topic: Hi Dawn, I’m reminded as I opened the bag of frozen half baguettes & smelt the aroma to pass on this tip that was given to me a couple of years ago by a previous owner of a heritage listed bakery.

To take your bread to a new dimension, add some nigella seeds to the mixture, plus put a sprinkle out before forming the loaf. Just a guide, I put 1 tsp in a 3kg flour mix. You can buy nigella seeds at Indian spice shops. They call it black onion seeds, at least the one where I go to does.

Then if you want to, you can use yogurt, olive oil, some garlic as well as nigella seeds to give your bread a real Indian naan bread flavor.