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Starting a swarm in a Flow Hive


#1

I am a new bee keeper and I have recently got my new Flow hive. Could someone tell me how I can successfully start a new swarm in the Flow Hive, I currently have 2 British Standard hives? Many thanks


#2

Just dump it into the brood box with the foundationless frames and let them get on with it! :smile: Really, it is no different from your Brit Nationals, except the frame size is a little different. If you want some support in the frames, you can put a couple of runs of fishing line through some of the side bar holes, but you don’t have to. You will need to put the wood starter strips into the frame top bars (they look like long lollipop sticks in the kit), if you aren’t using foundation.

If you want to encourage them to stay in your hive, a couple of drops of Lemongrass essential oil helps, as it smells like Nasonov pheromone to bees. Even better would be some old comb or some fresh brood from one of your other hives, if they can spare it.


#3

Thanks Dawn, I only have 1 queen, and I would like to have 2 hives running. Will the bees make a new queen if I shake some of the bees into the new langstroth hive? Or should I put the queen into the langstroth and hope that the remaining bees in the BS hive make a queen?


#4

If you currently have 2 x British Standard hives then you should have 2 x queens. A swarm is the perfect way to expand your bees without mucking with them, however if you have a strong hive then you could split them and have the queenless colony create a new queen from a brood frame with eggs. Very important to have young eggs though. A common method of splitting is to create an artificial swarm where you take the queen a good percentage of bees, put them into a Nuc or another box with brood, pollen and honey frames and then move them well away, preferably a few km. The old colony once realising their queen is gone will attempt to make a new one from 1-3 day old eggs. Its not always successful but is one of the most popular. If not successful, introduce another frame of eggs, order a queen in the mail or re-combine and try again at a later date.


#5

Thank you that’s Great! Appreciate your advice - will give it a try


#6

Ermm, to make a new queen, the bees need either eggs or very early larvae. So you can’t just shake bees in and expect a new queen. If you have a swarm, they should have a queen with them. Bees do swarm without the queen if she dies, or is wing-clipped, but that is not common. So if you want to get a second queen, you either need a couple of frames of eggs and young brood from the established hive, or you need to buy a queen from a supplier in your country.


#7

Ok. I will try that. Thank you Dawn