The Beehive Swap


Introduction: The Beehive Swap

At some point, I'd like to do more guides on beekeeping, as the art seems to be a woefully underrepresented on this site. For now, however, I'll be showing you how to strengthen a week hive and, if applicable, prevent swarming in a strong hive.

One of the most important things in any garden is pollination. However, many gardens don't receive an adequate amount. If you think you might have this problem, investing in a beehive might be the solution to more abundant fruits and vegetables. Actually, two beehives would be the way to go, for reasons I'll explain.

Two beehives are a lot stronger than one beehive, for a number of reasons. Case in point: if one of your hives is failing, you can bolster it with bees from the other hive via a very simple method: swap their positions.

Incidentally, if you're not sure that a hive is necessary, here's a list of plants that need pollinating insects to bear fruit.

Step 1: There's Really Only One Step.

Umm...switch their positions. For best results, do so in the middle of the day.

Okay, I know, it shouldn't be that easy. But it is. See, during the day, a lot of the mature worker bees are out working. Which would make sense. If you change the positions of the hives, they'll come back to where they remember "home" being. Oddly enough, the fact that it's an entirely different colony doesn't seem to bother them too much, and the bees inside couldn't care less.

As bee manipulations go, this one's pretty safe. I'm wearing my full suit, because my veil attaches directly to it and without it is useless, but as you can see I'm not wearing gloves.



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    I live in Mendocino County and I have a beehive and 3 weeks ago i checked them to see how they were doing after the winter. Weeks before i noticed that there were not many bees coming out even when the temperature was above 70s. So i found a deserted beehive. No bees in but lots of ants getting the honey that was left behind. No dead bees around the hive. Can you help me understand what happened?
    Also i am going to get another beehive and reuse mine. Do i have to clean the hive that i already had or do I reuse everything the way it is.
    Thank you.

    LOL nice jesus ants could pose a problem but mosis or how ever u spell that dudes name any way mosis ants will seperate the water for the ants to get to the hive

    1 reply

    Probably a bit late, being 3.5 years later, but the "dude's" (sic) name was Moses.

    In response to your "Jesus ants", you should add soap to the water -- it breaks surface tension and they fall to the bottom. Should fix the issue.

    3 replies

    We fill our hive stand coffee cans with Old used oil. Bees don't drink it and ants won't touch it. Good luck!

    I thought of that, but my bees drink out of that water, I'm afraid.

    Try a few drops of soybean or sunflower oil.
    Safe and *should* help, if not as good as soap.

    I'm as freaked as anyone about CCD, but due to the lavender and many other plants I grow organically, I have a garden full of bees, a desire to keep bees, but zero money to start up. Any advice, M.N.S? (Ah, I do have a giant rubber tree stump that bees hang around! Any way that I could make it into a semi-natural hive site? Boring big deep holes into it???)

    2 replies

    do search " top bar hives " easy simple and cheap to make

    here's a cheap one:

    Jesus ants.............thats classic and I loved it

    you should make an instructabel of a bee suit or box or something like that.

    2 replies

    I plan to. However, at the present time...I don't actually need either of those. When I do, I'll be sure to post the process.

    hey haven't been on Instructables in a while sorry for not responding to you are right

    I've looked, and certainly found some things, but...well, let's say I think it could be even more accessible. Sadly I'm a bit too far north for your group--Up near the Capitol.