How Does A Beehive Start – Easier than you might think

A question you never really ponder until your beekeeper journey starts is, how does a beehive start? Beehives have to start right? Bees reproduce on two levels.

Firstly, on an individual level where eggs are laid and reared. Secondly, on a hive level where entire hives are reproduced to ensure the continuation of the honeybee species. This is fundamentally how a beehive does start. 

how does a beehive start

You want to harness bees’ ability to reproduce hives to your advantage to get your setup started.   

How Can I Find A Bee Swarm? 

Finding a swarm is exciting, sort of like finding an irresistible bargain. Swarming occurs through spring and early summer. Relying on your own self to find and track down swarms is needle in the haystack stuff so here’s a few ideas to get you started.   

  • Get talking.  Join and talk to others in your local beekeeping community, they know how to start a beehive.   
  • Get typing. Multiple online and social media groups are actively making a difference. Let them know you’re on the lookout in your area. This is a wealth of knowledge if you are prepared to read.  
  • Your local pest control agency or fire department often get calls to remove swarms. Let them know your interest, as transferring responsibility to an eager beekeeper is the ideal scenario for you both.   
  • Talk to your friends and family – more ears to the ground means more honeybees.  

How does a beehive start? What Do I Need To Catch A Swarm? 

Let’s get you on your way to starting your own beehive.  Here’s a table of what we keep in our swarm kit and how we use it: 

Item RequiredSomething Like this Use
A ventilated box made from either cardboard or wood. Your new colony will be put in here. Installing some empty frames are beneficial to get the honey production going asap.
White or light colored bedsheet or groundcover Place under your box prior to getting the swarm. Makes stray bees and clusters of bees easy to see
Bee brush Used to brush the swarm into your box if the swarm is on a vertical surface such as a wall, mailbox, or fence.
Pruning shears If the swarm is hanging from some sort of vegetation you can simply cut the plant and place the swarm directly into your box.
Lemongrass oil If the swarm is on the ground you can lay your box sideways and use the lemongrass oil as a lure. Bees should start moving into the box by their own free will.
Bee smoker Do not use smoke to catch a swarm. This is a precautionary item only to be used in the event of significant bee attack. Especially if vulnerable people are present.
Protective Gear Just put it on. Bees are part of nature and unpredictable at times. If you have spare gear, put that in. Swarm catching is exciting and including as many people as you can is always a good idea.

That’s a wrap!

You’ve done it! You’ve got the solution to the question, how does a beehive start?” You should leave a small opening to allow access for all of the bees. Install your bees into their new hive early the next morning to avoid excess stress and possible overheating. Job done, good luck! Get that swarm installed in a hive and happy days are ahead. 


Happy beekeeping!!