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  • Startseite » Anleitungen » Betreuung » Schwarmzeit

    [Needs proofreading/checking - KMP]

    Swarm season

    [Foto-Unterschrift: Swarm of bees (Copyright Chris Rudge, www.flickr.com)]

    In regions of temperate climate such as Central Europe the months of May and June (northern hemisphere)are the socalled "swarm season". Strong colonies take advantage of the abundant supplies of nectar and pollen available at this time to divide and thus reproduce. Roughly half of the colony swarms (leaves the hive) with the existing (old) queen and regroups around a branch of a nearby tree or similar object. The rest of the colony remains in the hive and raises a new queen.

    If you are able to [catch the swarm] then you can populate a second Bienenkiste hive. If you don't need the swarm yourself, there will certainly be another beekeeper happy to have the bees -- the demand for swarms is great: www.schwarmboerse.de (for Germany).

    Not to fear if a swarm should depart unobserved -- the effect on the bees remaining is negligible; the process of raising a fresh, new queen will have already started. The loss of bees will soon be made up and chances are that they will still bring in a good honey harvest. Additionally, the brief interruption of the brood cycle between queens is a beneficial precaution against disease.

    Swarming is a natural event in the life cycle of the honey bee, but a certain degree of management is in the best interests of your success as a beekeeper and good neighbor.

    After swarms -- additional swarms occurring after the departure of the initial (prime) swarm -- are undesirable, as they can excessively weaken a colony, leading to a poor or non-existent honey harvest. Repeated swarms will also needlessly try the patience of otherwise cooperative neighbors.

    Detailed instructions...


    Questions about "swarm reproduction"

    Swarm suppression

    Conventional beekeepers attempt to suppress the instinctive swarm behavior, which it is believed leads to a weaker honey harvest. At the same time, the somewhat unpredictable occurrence of a swarm is perceived as a certain loss of control by the beekeeper. But this instinctive behavior represents the natural reproductive drive of the bee colony and is thus of great importance, particularly for the health and vitality of the colony. Acceptance of the swarm instinct is a key element in the Bienenkiste concept; it plays a role in the easy-to-manage approach of the hive as well in its rate of success. Both conceptually and technically, effective suppression of swarm behavior in the Bienenkiste hive is inherently not possible.

    So what do I do with the swarm?

    If you have no use for the swarm yourself, it is easy to find beekeepers who will be pleased to take the bees. Ask around, particularly other Bienenkiste beekeepers, or check with your local beekeeping clubs, mailing lists, etc.

    Do I have to spend the entire swarm season (e.g. May and June) at home?

    If you intend to be gone for a longer period of time during the swarm season and your bees have not yet swarmed, it is good idea to make arrangements with another friendly (preferably Bienenkiste) beekeeper to take over the routine inspections for you; be sure to leave his or her telephone number with the neighbors. At the very least, you should provide nearby neighbors with the telephone number(s) of local beekeepers who specialize in catching swarms. As mentioned above, a swarm that takes off when no one is around and/or gets away will seek out its own new nest location. Because a dearth of suitable natural locations and lack of treatments against varroa in the wild, most such swarms will not survive in the long run. But the rest of the bees, together with a young new queen, will still remain in your hive.

    How do I collect a swarm?

    Collecting a swarm of honey bees is not difficult -- as long the branch or structure they are clustered on is not so high as to be unreachable.

    Detailed instructions...

    [Hinweis: KMP hat den Beitrag zuletzt am vor 6 Jahren, 7 Monaten geändert.]
      Kevin M. Pfeiffer - Berlin (Mitglied, Imkerverein Kreuzberg e.V.) - Imkerbuch - Stockwaage - Visitenkarte