Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Healthy Hive

At this time of year, bee keepers start to become careful about swarming. 

Spring and summer are the most likely times for bees to take off. 

The process is very simple. In spring if the colony feels that their home is getting too crowded they can begin to prepare for a move. 
This can be indicated by the existence of queen cells in the hive.  The colony will prepare u creating one or more new queens. The old queen will take flight with a number of bees leaving the hive in the hands of a new queen or queens. These then fight to the death to take over the colony. 

It’s a good way of sustaining the health of the hive too. 

Instead of the traditional hexagonal comb, a queen cell is larger and more rounded. They are often positioned in a contrary direction. For example they may be along the edge of the comb facing outwards or downwards. 

When the keeper checks the hive she will remove or squash these cells. 

In our African hive we were pleased to find a thriving colony. We didn’t find queen cells. Phew. 

Then we expanded the hive by giving them additional bars. In some situations a keeper can split a colony, creating an artificial swarm. In doing this the queen is removed with some bees and relocated. The bees left behind can then create a queen by feeding the eggs in the hive with Royal jelly so they will still have a queen. 


8 comments on “Healthy Hive

  1. Serena @ foodfulife
    May 22, 2015


    Liked by 2 people

  2. beeseeker
    May 24, 2015

    Super information: thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. beeseeker
    May 24, 2015

    Africa hive/
    can you give me some more information (or a link) on this please?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      May 24, 2015

      Sure what would you like to know?


      • beeseeker
        May 25, 2015

        I am guessing this is a design of hive.
        Quite familiar with the straw “skep” style and the Langstroth hives, but know nothing about “African” hives.
        Picture would be good, and what are the benefits/drawbacks of the hive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lizard100
        May 25, 2015

        I’m away just now but will share more as soon as I can. We get back Wednesday and are in no wifi land just now.


      • lizard100
        May 31, 2015

        I’ve written a new post about our hives for you. It’s scheduled for tomorrow 10.00 European time : )
        Thanks for the inspiration. I was away last week. Hope it’s useful : )


      • lizard100
        June 1, 2015

        I’ve blogged more about the hive now.


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This entry was posted on May 22, 2015 by in beekeeping and tagged , .

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