We received the following question from Manny, an eleven-year-old interested in keeping bees.
How do you get the bees to move into the hive?
That is a great question, and here are just some of the ways you can get bees! There are four main ways to get bees: a nuc, a split, a swarm or a package. Then, there is the bait hive method – and I use this one a lot where we are located.
- Nuc – A nuc or nucleus is a mini, already-functioning hive and comes complete with frames, brood, bees, a queen, pollen and honey stores. Just transfer the frames into your new hive box and add more frames.
- Split – A split is when you take some frames with bees from the hive of another keeper, which must be done at the right time of year. Then add a queen, which you can order in the mail from a queen breeder. It’s also possible they will raise their queen, given the right conditions.
- Swarm – When bees reach high enough numbers, they swarm to form new hives, usually springtime. The queen will leave the hive with half the bees and temporarily land nearby. Put your bee box underneath the swarm and shake the branch to get the bees into your new hive.
- Package – You can order a package containing a mated queen and about 10,000 bees in a ventilator box. Bee breeders will send the package by mail, and you transfer them into your hive.
- A BAIT HIVE – A bait hive is a less commonly used method, where an empty box with a scent is used to lure a swarm of bees in.
Later this year, we plan to make videos showing how to install bees using a nuc and a package.
If you have any questions, send them to us below, and we’ll do our best to answer them for you!