If you’re looking for a little guidance on installing your first package of bees, this is a great annotation of the process:
Last year, one of our hives swarmed 6 times. Each swarm involves dropping everything to capture and rehouse the wayward dames, none of which is easy to do with a full-time job.
So this year, we split our hives the minute the nectar started flowing and they began to look crowded. This year, we hope to be sipping wine after work instead of chasing swarms all over Albuquerque’s SE Heights.
Hives are ready to be split when:
- The hive is strong.
- Nectar is flowing.
- You see drones in the hive (not capped, but actually walking around).
- And definitely if you see swarm cells. But splitting before you see swarm cells is OK too if you’re a risky sort of beekeeper.