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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Spring is Coming - Invitation to a Swarm

Both of my hives were very active today. Outside of Bermuda, the young bees started orientation as soon as the temperature reached 50 degrees (around 2 PM) and continued for about 2 hours. Mellona was almost as busy, although it is a smaller hive.

Last year I had an empty box standing on its side on the deck and a small swarm moved in without my even realizing it until I moved the box. I'd prefer to attract a swarm to a good, warm, well-equipped place to live.

So I put a hive body out on the deck on concrete blocks. It's a 10 frame deep, and I'm trying to move to all 8 frame medium boxes so in theory this is a box I wouldn't use for anything else this year. Even the nucs that I will be getting in April (which will come on deep frames), I'll put into deep 8 frame boxes. So if a swarm doesn't make this box it's home, I still won't be missing this piece of equipment.

Originally (in an earlier post), I described put drops of lemongrass essential onto an old hive body with a cover to try to encourage a swarm to move in. BeeHappy commented that the odor of the essential lemongrass oil will last longer if I made an oil paste to put on the frames instead.

So I did that today. If you click on the picture below, you can go to the slide show and see the process full screen:

Now let's hope a wandering swarm finds this lovely place to live and moves into it.

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  1. Anonymous2:58 PM

    HI Linda~
    Love your blog!

    If you have time can you talk a bit more about moving from 10 to 8 frames? I want to do the same this year but I was wondering about how that works?

    The boxes are all the same ouside dimensions but don't you have more space inside with 8 frames? Do the bees fill up that space? it would seem like they would fill it all in & then the frames would be stuck together?

    Are the boxes a different dimension on the inside?

    Sorry for such an elementary question~ I've bee trying to figure this out before I order more equipment.

    Tam :)

  2. Hi Tam,

    Most of the companies make 8 frame boxes. You can't just put 8 frames in a 10 frame box, although if you filled the extra two space frame with something (like styrofoam or something light) maybe you could. Although my bees move everything they don't want out of the hive - they chew up rubber bands and deposit them outside the door! I think the only way is to move to 8 frame sized boxes or cut your 10 frame boxes down. Michael Bush shows how to do that on his web site - see the sidebar for his address. I'm just ordering boxes in the 8 frame size- Brushy Mountain, Betterbee, etc all carry them in that size.

    Linda T-

  3. Anonymous6:43 PM

    On the lemongrass mixture. How much lemongrass oil did you use for this mixture. You did not mention this. I will be doing the same thing next week using my nuc box from Brushy Mt.


  4. I'm so sorry I didn't mention the amount of lemongrass oil - I've gone back and edited the slideshow to fix that. I think I added 15 -20 drops of lemongrass oil to the mix. Thanks for catching that, Annette, you're the best!

    Linda T


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