Exchange worker bees between colonies
Exchanging workers between colonies is a great thing to learn how to do! You can boost weak colonies, help create new colonies and provide more help to colonies that need it.
This method requires knowledge and understanding of bees and for this reason its placed under the advanced section of native bee keeping.
Check out this video of Dean demonstrating this method.
Tips on Exchange workers method.
One of the most important things I will say about this method, is that the colony of bees that receives the bees must NOT be a strong colony. When the exchange of workers happens it is actually toying with the bees natural pheromone signals. That being said, it is by experience that this is learned to be conducted in the right way.
A strong colony of bees with large numbers of worker bees will 100% mount a defense against a foreign colony of bees. After all, this is a normal part of the Stingless bee’s life cycle.
For this method to work, the hive receiving the exchange of workers must be small. Less then 1000 bees in total will work well. A hive with no queen present will work even better. Colonies with only nurse and baby bees will also take to this method well.
Mixing species does not work very well and should be avoided.
Hive entrances should match the same position as the hive they have been swapped with.
The strong hive may have a few weeks down turn as they recruit more workers.
If you use this method in spring with a small amount of brood containing a queen cell you will create a new colony!! Care to monitor it in its early stages will help make sure it grows up to be nice and strong.