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How to Get High Swarms

DR. RICHARD TAYLOR

Rochester, N. Y.
Bee Culture – March, 1969

I hate climbing and using ladders and trying to poke through branches and brush to reach swarms. But there is another way, which involves enlisting the cooperation of the bees themselves.

Just get a frame of unsealed brood in contact with the swarm. Before long the bees are covering the frame, and you simply pop it into a hive. If the swarm isn’t too high, tie the frame of brood (without bees) to the end of a pole, and raise it to the swarm, leaving it propped there for 15 minutes or so. For higher swarms, toss a line over the branch they are hanging from, tie the frame to the other end of the line, and pull it up while you are standing safe and secure on the ground. Let it down when it’s covered with bees. No shaking of bees, no losing the queen, no stings, no broken neck.

For large swarms it is best to sandwich the frame of unsealed brood between two frames of empty drawn comb, tacking the three frames together with wood strips. The bees find the unsealed brood, and it works like a magnet. Bees hived this way, with a bit of unsealed brood in the new hive, always stay put.