Swarming means a hive has been successful in filling the brood nest with the required resources for the next generation, but this usually means there won't be a honey crop for the beekeeper.
I have studied the causes of swarming for some time and looked at the various methods for swarm prevention.
Ideally the beekeeper wants to stop the bees from backfilling the brood nest with nectar in the first place, but the methods to do this require a couple of boxes of drawn comb for the beekeeper to be successful for swarm prevention. This includes Checkerboarding or Supering and reversing brood boxes. The first or even second year beekeeper does not have drawn comb to do this.
Maintaining a hole beside the brood nest - is a method for comb building for first year hives.
(This assumes the brood nest is in the top of a hive at the end of winter.)
Here's the process:
1. In early spring (when plum trees are well into blossom), move an outside frame into a new box to be placed above the brood nest.
2. Find the edge of the brood nest and place a foundationless frame (with a comb guide or a short strip of foundation) beside the brood nest. This is the "hole". There must be brood on one side of the foundationless frame and drawn comb, or the edge of the box on the other side of this foundationless frame.
3. Repeat this process every 2-3 weeks, alternating sides. (The previously added frame should be at least 2/3 drawn.) you can even do both sides at once when temperatures are warm enough and the bees are flying every day.
4. Once there is brood on the edge frame(s) of the brood box, move this frame to the box above, centred directly above the brood nest.
5. Do this well into the main flow. Then you can just concentrate on the supers. Alternating honey frames with foundationless frames or frames of foundation works well.
- This method does not force bees to cover a larger brood nest than they are able to cover.
- The bees still have direct access to the frame that was beside the brood nest, but it is now above instead. Not a problem, when heat rises.
- The bees can build the comb in their own time, but it gives them an incentive to build comb.
- Develops comb builders before swarm season.