Today we performed an artificial swarm and split our hive into two.
Our hive is thriving and has been making preparations to swarm (see previous blogs on queen cells).
We took the queen and put her in a new hive with a frame of brood (eggs, larva and pupa). We also shook in lots of bees from the old hive. Some of these will be nurse bees, who look after and feed the babies, and some will be workers who go out and look for nectar and pollen.
The nurse bees will stay in this hive as they don’t leave, however, when the workers leave, they will go back to the old hive because they have orientated to the sun previously. This will leave us with the queen and nurse bees in the new hive, but only a tiny amount of brood. She will therefore think she has swarmed and start laying eggs like crazy to set up a new hive.
In the old hive there are 7 queen cells with larva that were born on the 11th or 12th of May. when they are 8 days old, the bees will cap over the cell and the larva will turn into a pupa. 8 days after that, the queens will hatch. This will therefore be on the 25th or 26th of May. We will destroy all but one queen cell so that we don’t get another swarm when the queens emerge. Then this queen will become our new queen.
Watch the video to see how we did it all.