Swarming by honey bee colonies is the natural method of propagating the species. The swarming instinct is usually strongest in April and May.
Open and inspect a colony at least one time each seven days of the swarming season. Queen cells will be constructed on the bottom bars of the frames in the upper brood chamber. Cells will also be built in damaged areas of brood comb. Raise the top brood chamber and inspect the bottom bars of the frame for queen cells and queen cell cups. Remove and thoroughly inspect the frames when the swarm queen cells are found on the bottom bars.
- Reverse the brood chambers in March.
- Remove the entrance reducer from over-wintered colonies in early April.
- Add supers of drawn comb or foundation in April.
- Replace the three worst combs in each brood chamber with three frames of newly installed wired brood comb foundation.
- Requeen a colony every year or at least once every two years.
- When a colony has constructed and capped queen cells in preparation for swarming, divide or artificially swarm the colony.
- Add honey supers to give the bees storage space for honey above the brood chamber.