Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Imminent swarming preventative split?


I have a friend who has two hives. One swarmed a few days ago- he looked in the other and saw queen cells and I think it’s about to swarm at any moment too. He said he saw at least one fully formed queen ‘peanut’ cell…

If we can find the queen and remove her in a split- can we maybe stop the hive swarming even at a late stage? What if we can’t find her?


sounds perfect for a Taranov split


Googling Taranov now…


and she has a couple more which explain it very clearly & simply too, as soon as I get the right weather I will be doing one on one of my hives, provided they don’t decide to take off before then…


I just finished reading the same article - the photos make it easy to understand. Wow: pretty amazing way to separate the swarm bees from the rest! I wonder if you put a hive box with a frame of brood under the ramp if the swarm bees would simply end up right where you want them?


You can do that if you have the room. I know someone else who did that successfully. When i firs read about this method, on another site, it sounded so confusing, but I really like the simplicity of it. If you go ahead & can take pics would love to see & I will do likewise.


If we do it I will try to take photos. I guess if it’s done at midday a lot of non swarm foragers would be out- reducing the mayhem a little. My friend works long hours construction all this week- I might have to go over a do a smaller split as a matter of urgency. But I definitely want to try out this method too- it seems genius.


good luck with either. I think if it were me & I found queen cells I’d be tempted to just go with the Taranov as it’s no more work than doing another method.Perhaps though you want to wait for your friend to be there. I’ll keep an eye out for how it goes. The only thing preventing me from going ahead is the Bl_ _ _dy! weather, it has never bothered me before, but this year the continual grey skies & rain & wind is getting me down. It’s been so long since we just had a nice straightforward sunny day, it seems. I think having the bees is exacerbating these feelings as I know I need to inspect & every day it becomes more crucial. Plus everything appears to be flowering 7 I’m watching all the pollen being blown or washed away, along with most of the nectar, I imagine.


Hi Jack, if you can find the queen, take her with the split & break every QC down. I would also break every QC down in the parent hive. Then I would allow the parent hive to make EQC’s (emergency queen cells). That way the parent hive will end up with a strong queen. Plus the extra time taken may suppress the urge to swarm. I would take the split several k’s away so that no bees return to the parent hive.

One way to find a queen is to place a QX above a super containing frames of brood with a second empty super above the QX. Gently shake the bees off the frames above the QX, continuing to look for the queen as you go.

I have never tried this myself, but I read about it years ago & have it at the back of my find to use, if I ever need to.


have you heard of these Taranov splits before jeff? In some ways it sounds easier than trying to find every queen cell- and also maybe more effective at splitting all the bees that want to swarm from those that don’t? My friends hive is on a stand and at the perfect height to set up a ramp.

anyhow- I better get back to things- it’s not even 11 am and I have two calls of two swarms locally- one 8 meters up a tree- the the other in a truck tire…


Well done Jack, I did a bit of brief reading on it & thought that my solution would be better. You get an even split of adult bees. We all need practice at finding queen cells & reading the brood. With a bit of practice, it’s no problem to find all of the QC’s. If a frame is too covered in bees, simply lightly shake some of them off.

For anyone concerned about SHB, leaving a hive with only nurse bees, to my way of thinking & based on past experience is asking for trouble.

Good luck with those swarms, cheers


oops can’t delete this post…


hello Jeff,

first swarm was smallish and not as far up the tree as I thought. They went into my Nuc box readily- and didn’t immediately pour back out- so hopefully they will stay. Interestingly the swarm was directly above a small patch of lemongrass in the yard- and the home owners said last year a swarm landed in the exact same spot. I wonder if the lemongrass is what brought them there?

The second swarm is much bigger- I haven’t got it yet- here is a photo:

with this one- do you think if I placed a 10 frame box with frames in it beside the hive- would the bees march in?

It’s a bit hard to shake them off the tire? I could scoop a lot of them with cardboard and dump them in? Any thoughts?


Oh wow Jack, that’s a beauty. It could be that a clump of lemongrass is an attractant for a swarm.

It’s very quiet around here, swarm wise. I got one phone call ages ago about a flow hive swarm. The owner was overseas & must have given his next door neighbor my phone number upon finding the swarm in her yard. Recently we got a call from a lady who thought a queen bee was in her kitchen & that’s it.

Some of my hives would have swarmed if I didn’t weaken them out. Overall it’s turning into the worse spring that I can remember.

WE NEED RAIN!!! Normally they are doing well on clover, but that is not happening this year.


Well done. We recently caught a swarm from 20metres up by using Lemongrass leaves pureed with some sugar and honey and smeered it in and over the swarm box. Its all we could do at the time after reading about people using concentrated lemon grass oil. Will have to find out exactly what my wife mixed in.


any thoughts on hiving that tire swarm jeff?


Jack - You could try a trick that Ed, @Red_Hot_Chilipepper used in a swarm video. Lean a populated brood frame (eggs, larvae, capped cells & nurse bees shaken off) against the bees on the tire. The bees should quickly cover the frame. Put the frame covered with the bees in a hive box next to the tire and the remaining bees. They should quickly follow into the box. I used this method with a trap out (learned from the @JeffH) video. The bees happily went from the tree that they were trying to re-enter to the frame of brood. I made sure the landing board of the hive box that I used was touching the tree and the remaining bees quickly crawled into the box.


Didn’t have time to dig out a brood frame- I used lemongrass and smeared some candied honey on the top of a few frames- BINGO- the good little bees marched right in. Very big swarm- very docile and friendly:


Success! All the bees were in by dusk- entrance closed - swarm housed and relocated! Went to check on another swarm I hived last Friday- found this just near it- yet another one- can you see them? Easy to miss:

That’s 3 swarms today- and 2 last week! Whilst I was running around catching swarms today I drove right through another one on the wing… they’re everywhere!


Hi Jack be careful that you don’t fall into the trap that I fell into when I first started out. I used to spend a lot of time chasing swarms, while at the same time, my own hives were swarming. After the penny dropped I stopped chasing swarms & concentrated on preventing my own bees from swarming.

It was amazing some of the reactions people had when we said that we don’t chase swarms. “Don’t you know that bees are in trouble” or something like that was one reply.

Anyway it’s a great way to build up colony numbers while starting out. Plus you’re gaining a wealth of experience/knowledge.

On the frame of brood issue: you’ll quickly discover that any of the recently hived swarms in single boxes will provide a readily available frame of brood at short notice.