Re: Low-Budget Swarm Control?
No....don't let your bees swarm, otherwise you are not a beekeeper, you are a pest maker.
Manage your hive, if you keep it, it is your responsibility. In the spring as the bees start to build up you must keep an eye on them. Once they get to a certain size...filling more than 4 frames with brood on both the top and bottom brood box you will need to split them or remove frames of brood. The best bet is to find someone in your club or another beekeeper who is looking for a split. You can provide the queenless split for them, all they need to do is order a queen and they have their nuc. If you can't find anyone to take the brood you can remove the frames, shake off the bees and freeze them. Either way will knock down your hive and keep it from swaming IN THE SPRING. As the hive continues to build, you at this point need to start adding supers. If you continue to add supers, staying a min of one empty ahead of them they shouldn't swarm on your during the summer. As the fall hits and the bees start to slow down, you will notice the population decline as the queen tapers off her laying. Good strong hive going into winter.
Many of the beekeepers I mentor have only one hive and those that really tend to their hives have no problem with swarming using these tactics. Also, how do you think commercial guys get the maximum out of their hives?? By allowing them to swarm? Really?
Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne