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lecture: Reactive Swarm Control with Wally Shaw

February 19 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

This is the second of our talks about swarms and swarming this season and looks at what to do when queen cells appear…

About this Event

Re-active Swarm Control

This talk covers the methods of management that can be used to deal with colonies that have started queen cells ie when pre-emptive swarm control has failed. Artificial swarming is the method that can be used if the colony has not already issued a prime swarm. If the prime swarm has already departed there are other methods that can be used to prevent cast swarming and further loss of bees. The talk includes an explanation of the Snelgrove II (modified) method.

Wally Shaw

My wife (Jenny) and I have been keeping bees for 30 years – a joint activity in which we are equal partners. We started beekeeping in order to provide pollination for a newly planted orchard. One hive grew into two, then four and eventually into 50 in six apiaries. This escalation in number of colonies was mainly driven by a fascination with the honey bee. We are both ex-research ecologists and beekeeping became a sort of second (unpaid) career. Yes, we do make honey and it does provide a small income stream (in good years) which more or less covers the cost of the obsession. Apart from our initial colony, which was purchased from a local beekeeper of our acquaintance, we have never purchased another colony or a queen but from the outset made our own by splitting hives or collecting swarms. We are fortunate on Anglesey having had for many years only a trickle of bees from other sources coming onto the island so by virtue of natural selection we do have a locally adapted bee – which not the case everywhere in Wales.

The part of beekeeping with which we initially had the greatest problem was swarm control but over the years we have come to a better understand what is involved. I have written two booklets for the Welsh Beekeepers Association (WBKA) which have been delivered FREE to all members. Their titles are ‘There are queen cells in my hive – what should I do?’ and ‘An Apiary Guide to Swarm Control’. Both are available on the WBKA website and can be downloaded FREE of charge. Both booklets have also been published by Northern Bee Books and are available from them and on the internet.


February 19
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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