- Have prepared a second brood box with foundation and/or drawn comb.
- Remove the roof, supers, etc from the mother colony and find the queen (hold her
in place with a marking cage to prevent losing her during subsequent manipulations).
Place the brood box to one side.
- Place the second box on the old floor and remove a couple of frames from the centre
to make a gap.
- Place the queen on a frame containing some unsealed brood in the gap in the second
box ensuring there are no queen cells on this frame. Remove the marking cage, close
up the gap and add a spare frame to the edge.
- Check the mother box for queen cells and (if any) and either:
- select one large cell and remove all others to be able to raise one new colony or,
- leave all or several if they are wanted for making up nuclei or to allow the bees
to select their own queen.
- Rebuild the hive with queen excluder on the second box, followed by the supers,
horsley board, mother brood box, crown board and roof. Locate the horsley board so
that the entrance is uppermost and faces the rear (opposite side to the main hive
- Close the entrance of the horsley board.
Day 3 or 4
- Pull open the entrance on the horsley board. This stops the free passage of bees
across the patch of queen excluder. The flying bees will return to the main entrance
If the board is being used to pre-empt swarming, then a number of emergency queen
cells will have appeared. Either select one of these to raise a single new colony
or allow all or most to develop if intended for making up nuclei (in which case they
should be removed before the queens emerge (as soon as16 days after the splitting
of the original colony).
At this stage the colony has been artificially swarmed and the top, mother box with
the brood has lost its flying bees.
What happens now depends on how much increase the beekeeper wants to make. If only
one queen cell has been left, this can be left for a few weeks until the queen has
started laying. After this the top box can be relocated. If multiple queen cells
have been left to develop to make up nuclei, these will need dealing with in the
week following sealing of the cells (otherwise the newly emerging queens will either
fight until only one is left or the top box may swarm).
This method is given as guidance only. After trying one or more key methods of swarm
control, the beekeeper should go on to experiment and develop their own variations
to suit their own preferences.