We blogged earlier about catching a swarm. This is a great way to start a new hive. But if you alrady have a hive, you want to be sure to prevent your bees from swarming! Although swarming can occur at any time, May tends to be the prime time for swarming.
There are two main reasons for swarming: congestion and poor ventilations. Make extra room for your bees before they need it! You can do this by reversing your hive bodies and adding supers. Ventilate! Make sure you inner cover’s ventilation notch is open. You can also prop up your inner cover with popsicle sticks to improve the air flow. Make sure the bees have a nearby water source, and shield the hive from a full day of sun.
And finally, it’s important to check for “swarm cells” -- these are usually found at the bottom of the frame and are indicative of overcrowding. Check for the swarm cells every five to ten days. If you don’t remove them all, the hive will swarm! It’s also a good idea to keep an empty hive around in case you find a swarm. It’s the best way to start a new hive!