How To Create An Artificial Swarm

Published on 26 January 2024 at 11:28

Swarming is a natural process that enables honey bees to increase numbers and colonise new areas away from the original colony. Honey bee colonies will begin preparing to raise new queens and swarm usually between mid-April to mid-June, But late swarming can also take place during July and August in certain conditions.

Swarm Prevention


So you have come across swarm queen cells charged with larvae in your hive so what to do now here is one of the swarm prevention methods we use @ bizzy bee honey


First we identify what type of cell it is , swarm cell , emergency queen cell, or just a play cup


1. A swarm cell is usually around the edge or bottom of the frames 


2. Emergency queen cell is usually on the face of the comb either the queen could be damaged or missing.


3. Queen play cup is a small little cup that is often on the bottom of the frame the Bees will often make many of them, just in case they need them.


If We find swarm cells we create what is called an artificial swarm you do need extra hive equipment for this method is to trick the bees to think that they have swarmed. seperating the flying bees from the nurse and young bees.


Hive 1 = Is the original hive, full of bees and qeen cells.

Hive 2 = A new hive, frames and foundation (drawn comb if you have some) no bees.


  1. Move Hive 1 aside and replace with Hive 2 ( A new hive )
  2. The flying bees will now start entering the new hive ( Hive 2 )
  3. Remove 2-3 frames from the centre of Hive 2
  4. Hive 1 find the Queen ( take your time )
  5. Take the frame with the Queen on and place it in Hive 2 there must be no queen cells present on this frame
  6. Find 2-3 frames with food and some sealed brood and place in Hive 2 again there must be NO Queen cells
  7. Place the 2-3 frames of foundation in Hive 1
  8. Leave around 2 Open Queen cells in Hive 1
  9. Feed if necessary with 1kg to one 1ltr sugar syurp so the bees can draw the new frames out


Hive 1 will raise a new Queen.

Hive 2 has the original laying Queen and will build back up.


Photo below of swarm Queen Cells. These are built from eggs which are found in the edge or bottom of the frame.


Photo below of an Emergency Queen Cells. These are built from eggs which are found in the middle of the frame.


Photo below of queen play cups these can be found at the bottom of the frame with no eggs


Here is a YouTube video showing us how it is done with James Dearsle and a scale model

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