Swarm Control

Below we have provided details of a number of popular swarm control methods. We would recommend that all members, become familiar with them, what they achieve and the process involved, so that they can make an informed choice on the method the would like to use, and the outcomes they would like to achieve.

We will be covering swarm control in our usual Thursday night bee chats in the summer, so if you have any questions about any of the methods, please do not hesitate to get in touch and all members are welcome to join us to find out more about other fellow’s beekeepers experience and the methods they use.

Snelgrove Board method of swarm control

The Snelgrove board, invented by Leonard Snelgrove in the 1930’s, is the name of a piece of beekeeping equipment to help with swarm control and prevention. The Snelgrove board is similar to a Crown Board, but with the addition of moveable gates, which help to direct bees to different parts of the hive

More details on the Snelgrove Board method can be found on the Dave Cushman website HERE.

Snelgrove board swarm control

Demaree Method

The Demaree Method of swarm control effectively splits the Queen and the foraging bees from the brood and nurse bees. It can be adapted in a number of ways, as can many of the common methods of swarm control.

More details can be found in the animated video below and on the Dave Cushman website HERE,

Demaree method of swarm control

The Pagden Method

The Pagden method is the most commonly used method by new beekeepers and, to many, will simply be known as “artificial swarming”. Like all methods of artificially swarming bees, the Pagden method has numerous variations, but below you will find the basic principles.

The Pagden method of swarm control involves separating the queen and flying bees from the eggs, brood and nurse bees, effectively splitting one colony into two separate hives. It is a common method of swarm control with beekeepers who typically want to make an increase in their number of colonies.

It is a relatively straightforward method and you can find more information and an animation video of the process HERE.

Wally Shaw has a very useful booklet and YouTube video HERE.

Details about artifical swarming are also available on the Dave Cushman website HERE.

Laminated guidance sheets are also available to buy from the BBKA here.