Beekeepers can get a free beehive by luring or capturing bees during swarm season. When beehives become overpopulated about half of the hive swarms and leaves in search of another suitable place to live. Beekeepers may be able to entice the swarm to move into a bee hive box during this time.
Here are some steps to follow when taking control of a beehive.
- Prepare for swarm season
- Get to the swarm
- Collect the bees
Build a beehive box for the bees to move into or purchase one. These boxes are usually wooden with one or more bar frames inside them for the bees to build wax combs on. Also, alert neighbors about wanting to collect a swarm so they'll know to call if they see one.
Put on protective clothing, such as a long sleeve shirt, heavy gloves and netted hat to shield the face. Bees are generally docile while swarming, but it is good to be proactive about safety. Get to the location of the swarm quickly and take along the beehive box or another box for temporary storage.
Place the box underneath the swarm. They usually locate on low branches, fence posts, or even on the ground. Mist the swarm with sugar water to wet them down so they can't fly. Use a soft bristle brush to sweep clumps of bees into the box. If on a branch, keepers can also gently shake the branch to cause the bees to drop into the box. Repeat, until most of the bees are collected.