Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bee Calm.........


Whoa.
Another one of Scott's beekeeping ideas gone South.........

FYI:
Frames need to be put in the right sized boxes.
This frame is a honey super frame (they are shorter) but we had placed a few in a deep box.
The bees created an extension of the frame to accommodate the space.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Swarm Season

On Thursday, June 9th, Scott arrived home and was welcomed by a swarm of bees.
A M A Z I N G.
Swarming is a natural division of the hive population. 
When the number of workers exceeds the capacity of the hive, the workers will raise a second queen and she will travel to a new location with half of the colonies worker bees and Drones. Generally this occurs in the Spring or Summer months .
A new location is picked by scout bees who are workers that are skilled in covert operations.Scout bees will actually search out the best place to successfully relocate the swarming colony. This is often an existing bee hive in a tree, house or other established location. Important things to the scouts include drafts, accessibility, guard ability, size and location. Often though, a new suitable location is not found before swarming is necessary and the swarm will find unusual places to temporarily stay. This can be on the bumper of a car, around a mailbox, or in the lower branches of a tree.
Our swarm decided to cosy up with the edge of our fence.
There are probably 40,000 bees creating that beautiful formation there....!!!
Intimidating for sure.
But Scott and I got it together and captured the colony.
video
We cut holes in the sides of a cardboard box to then insert 4 frames for the bees to cling onto.
Using the flap of another cardboard box, we swiftly swept the bees into the box
We began the sweep at the bottom of the swarm and gradually got them all into the box.
The box was vibrating with activity.
video

Once we captured the swarm we left the box near the fence so that all the bees could find their way into their temporary home.
Scott made a beautiful sign.
 Two days later, we decided it was time to merge the swarm bees with one of our hives that needed a boost.
We placed a piece of newspaper in between the bottom brood box and the new swarm box....the bees will eventually chew through the newspaper and this assists in a gradual integration and introduction.

We can see newspaper shavings on the bottom boards.
This experience has only increased our interest and devotion to bees.
They are mighty incredible.