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Swarms and Splits: A Workshop for Second Year Beekeepers

March 23, 2024, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 

Honey bees flying into hive

If you’ve gotten your beehive through its first winter in Colorado, congratulations! You’re about to have a second-year hive! With a second-year hive comes all new adventures in beekeeping, one of the most important of which is swarming. When a colony swarms, not only does a beekeeper lose their valuable, experienced queen, but other issues, such as a failure to produce a new queen or swarms moving into dangerous locations, can occur. It is in a beekeeper s best interest to learn how to artificially create a swarm by doing a split to prevent their bees from becoming a community nuisance. It is also beneficial for new beekeepers to learn about swarm behavior and how they can get themselves free bees by becoming a swarm catcher.  

In this workshop, we’ll learn all about swarms, including signs that a colony is going to swarm, how to prevent your hive from swarming, how to make more hives by making splits, and basic swarm catching techniques. 

Meet our bee expert:  Lorna McCallister is a biologist from Tampa, Florida. She studied wildlife biology with a minor in entomology at the University of Florida. She also completed her master’s degree at the University of Florida with a thesis on insect and avian pollinator communities in southern Africa. She learned beekeeping through a course at UF, the Tampa Bay Beekeepers Association, and interning with Butterfly Pavilion’s Bees for Elephants Project in Sri Lanka and Kenya. 

Pricing:  

  • $40 Non-Member 
  • $35 Member

What You'll Learn:

  • Recognizing Early Signs of Swarm Preparation 
  • Importance of Swarm Prevention in Beehives 
  • Artfully Creating Swarms through Hive Splits 
  • Understanding Risks Associated with Natural Swarming 
  •  The Impact of Losing an Experienced Queen in Swarming 
  • Risks such as the Failure to Produce a New Queen and Choosing Unsafe Locations 
  • Becoming a Swarm Catcher: Benefits and Free Bee Opportunities 
  • Exploring the Fascinating World of Swarm Behavior 
  • Classroom Lesson: Building Foundations in Beekeeping Knowledge