site logo

When Two Have United The Method Of Separating

Categories: SWARMING.
Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

Two or more swarms will cluster together, and not quarrel, if put in

one hive; I have already told you the disadvantages. Unless business is

very urgent, your time cannot be better employed than in dividing them.

First, it is necessary to provide a good stock of patience, as it may

be a short job, or it may be a long one. Get two empty hives, and

divide the bees as nearly equal as possible. It is generally the best

to spread a sheet on the ground, and shake the bees in the centre,

and set the hives each side of the mass, their edges raised to allow

the bees to enter; if too many are disposed to enter one hive, set it

farther off. If they cluster in a situation where they cannot be got to

the earth in a body, they must be dipped off as before directed, but,

in this case, putting a dipper full in each hive alternately, until all

are in. They should be made to hurry some in going in; keep the

entrance clear, and stir them up often; or sprinkle a very little water

on them, as they should not be allowed to stop their humming until all

are in. We have one chance in two of getting a queen in each. The two

hives should now be placed twenty feet apart; if there is a queen in

each, the bees in both will remain quiet, and the work is done; but if

not, the bees in the one destitute will soon manifest it by running

about in all directions, and, when the queen cannot be found, will

leave for the other hive, where there are probably two, a few going at

a time. Now there are two or three methods of separating these queens;

one is, to empty the bees out and proceed as before, a kind of chance

game, that may succeed at the next trial, and may have to be repeated.

Another way is, that, as soon as it is ascertained which is without a

queen, before many bees leave, spread down a sheet; set this hive on

it, and tie the corners over the top to secure the bees for the

present, turn the hive on its side for the present to give them air; or

it may be let down on a wire cloth bottom-board and the hole in the

side stopped, and this would be less likely to smother the bees, if it

could be secured to the bottom, and have the hive lie on its side; when

this division is secured, get another hive, and jar out those with the

queens; let them enter as before, and then set them apart, &c.,

watching the result; if the queens are not yet separate, it will be

known by the same appearances. The process must be continued till

separate, or the number with the queens may be easily looked over, and

one of them found; indeed, a sharp lookout should be kept up from the

beginning, and the queens caught, if possible.