Synopsis : Successful swarm control involves regular, appropriately timed, colony inspections and some simple colony manipulations. Understand the principles and you’ll realise it’s not rocket science.
The majority of visitors (~85%) to this site are from the Northern hemisphere – the UK, USA, Canada and Ireland. Everyone is welcome of course, but the reality is that the topical posts that appear are in sync with the season in the Northern hemisphere, so they tend to get read more. Nowhere is this more apparent than during the period when our bees are swarming – or attempting to swarm.
I wrote Queen cells … don’t panic! back in June 2018. It described what queen cells looked like and what to do if you find them (Don’t panic!). It wasn’t read much that year but has gradually gained ‘traction’ and last year accounted for ~4% of all visits 1.
The page views show distinct seasonality, with peaks in May coinciding with
beekeepers panicking when they find queen cells our swarm season in the Northern hemisphere.
This year, swarming in the UK made the news with an article on the BBC about Midlands beekeepers running out of equipment. It was an enjoyable read – I used to keep bees there and know the beekeepers – not least because of all the errors made by the reporter. I counted about half a dozen clangers 2 in under 300 words.