Submitted by J. Orem
I'm beginning to think that swarm season will be here early this year. Our hives are already filling up with nectar, pollen, brood, and honey from last year. I put our supers on a week or two ago. I'm wondering about all those feral colonies in our area. They can't add supers to make more room. So they will probably think about swarming. Cindy wrote a really good piece on swarms last year, please take the time to check it out.
I put swarm traps out already just in case we need them early. Normally I'm doing this around the end of April. We have a blog about swarm traps, check it out.
I'm also contacting local sheriff and fire departments to let them know I catch swarms. Some have "swarm call lists" you can have your name added so you can be contacted in case of a swarm. The IBA and ISBA have swarm call lists but you have to be a member of their club to go on. The DNR also has a swarm call list. You not only help yourself to a free swarm but also help the honeybees by giving them a good home. We have enough colonies at our place so we will be trying to find homes for the ones I catch this year. If you are just getting started as a beekeeper come to a meeting and get on my trapped swarm list and I'll try to give you a swarm of bees when I catch them.