How To Relocate An Existing Swarm Into Your Own Hive

Hey hey everyone.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately with people who have a bunch of bees in their backyard, or in their tree, or in a shed, etc.

And they want to take those bees and put them in their own hive and start beekeeping that way.

But how exactly do you DO that?

That’s what our most recent audio is all about.

Just push play below, turn up your speakers, sit back, and enjoy!

[audio:|titles=How To Get Swarms Of Bees Into Your Hive]


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Update: But What If You Have A Hive INSIDE
A Tree Or A Wall Already?

Remember, it’s best to know the basics before attempting any of these techniques.

We’ve also been getting questions regarding relocating an entire hive that has built a residence *inside* of a tree, or wall, etc.

Relocating the bees in that situation can be much more tricky.

Here’s a great little article from Gregg Hunt at Purdue University. (This method can be adapted to fit your specific situation, such as a wall vs. a tree, etc.)

When honey bees swarm, the old queen leaves the hive with most of the bees. They usually cluster on a limb of a tree for several days while scout bees search for suitable cavities to nest in. They actually “tell” other bees where the cavity is by dancing on the surface of the swarm. If enough bees start visiting the cavity, the swarm will take flight and move in to start making new honey comb for their nest. Problems arise when the nest is in someone’s house or a tree that is close to where people frequently go.

Honey bees sting to defend their nest but not when they are foraging on flowers (unless you step on them). Bees rarely pose a stinging threat unless you are very close to the entrance to their nest, or if one accidentally flies into your hair, gets stuck in your clothing, or you step on one barefoot. If the entrance is above the heads of kids that are in the area, it is very unlikely they will get stung, unless they throw stones at it. If the kids are in the flight-path, they could get bees stuck in their hair and get stung, or the bees may see them as a threat.

Removing bees from trees actually requires opening the tree or cutting it down so that you can cut out the brood comb and get the queen. It is best to take the brood comb and wire pieces of it into empty frames in a standard hive. If you get the queen, the rest of the bees will move to the hive within a few hours. It can then be moved to a new location, preferably when it gets dark so that all the bees are inside.

There is another method to get most of the bees out of a tree but it takes up to two months and is not always successful. In fact, I don’t personally know someone who has told me they did it successfully. It involves sealing all but one entrance and putting an inverted screen funnel over the entrance so that bees can exit but not return. A hive is placed very near the exit hole containing some empty comb. This method gets most of the bees to adopt the new hive, but the queen and a few bees will remain in the tree and new bees will emerge so the nest continues.

If it is absolutely necessary to kill the bees, there is a dust called apicide that is registered to kill honey bees. Seven dust, is more readily available and contains the same type of active ingredient. It can be injected using a dust sprayer into the entrance. After several treatments, the colony will eventually die. Some exterminators do not kill honey bees because they believe they are endangered. Officially, honey bees are not an endangered species and it is legal to kill them. There have been a lot of problems in recent years with honey bee health because of new bee parasites and diseases, but beekeepers are still able to keep bees, provided they control these problems.

– Greg Hunt, Purdue University