Swarm - May 14, 2016

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Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 7:07 pm
Location: High Point

Swarm - May 14, 2016

Post by donwal » Sat May 14, 2016 7:57 pm

Working with honey bees, you learn that sometimes nothing goes as planned. Had my day all planned out, but the bees had other ideas. Observed my first swarm today! God finds a way to give you what you need.

Let me set this one up. On April 03, 2016 we helped the homeowner cut out an active hive from his house. He wanted to start keeping honey bees and wanted to use these bees to start his first hive. We split the brood, with him setting up a 10 frame deep hive box with comb containing eggs, larva and capped brood at his house. I set up a 5 frame nuc with three frames of brood and took it to our house. We never located the queen, so we did not know which box she was in. After a couple of weeks, I discovered that she was in the nuc box I brought home.

We went to his house today to see if his hive raised a new queen. Upon inspection, we found no queen, eggs or larva. So, I was going to bring a frame of eggs, larva and brood from the nuc I brought home to let them try again (which I had already moved into a 8 frame setup).

He had not completed the job of repairing his house and the comb that was left was hard to get to so he had not gotten it all. The homeowner had noticed in the last couple of days that there were a few bees flying around the house again, so he had me pickup a couple bottles of bee quick to spray in the attic again.

As we were finishing up the inspection of his hive and getting ready to close it back up, my husband noticed a lot of activity over the house. He said I believe there is a swarm moving in. I could not believe my eyes! Sure enough, there was a swarm coming in. The swarm proceeded to fly in the same spot we took the cut out from.

So, what to do now! The homeowner had only one hive setup and I only brought my bee jacket. It was just suppose to be a quick hive inspection. Since his hive did not have a queen, we decided to put the hive box up onto the scaffolding and scoop the bees in the hive box (praying we got the queen) and let them work it out. The swarm filled up the top medium box. It is suppose to get down into the low 40's tonight, so hopefully they get settled in quickly.

Talked to the homeowner around 9:40 tonight (Saturday). There were some bees that were still not going into the box. He finally got the comb out of the house that they first swarmed to and put in another medium box on top of the setup. He said the reminder of the bees went straight into the box. He moved the hive body down and set it up in a new location in his yard. The setup is now a ten frame deep hive body with two medium supers.

Never a dull moment working with honey bees! Enjoy the short video.


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