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Sweet Swarm Soirée

It doesn't get any simpler than this.  This swarm was hanging on the beekeeper's fence, about 2' off the ground.

We held a plastic tub under it and quickly brushed the bees into the tub.

We put the lid on (there were air holes) and waited a minute or two to see if the bees in the air went back to the fence or started inspecting the tub.  Once we were convinced the queen was in the tub, we carefully poured the bees into a hive with half of the frames removed, and then added the rest of the frames.

We were pleased to see many of the workers begin nasonoving on top of the frames.

Then we simply added the inner cover and waited to give any more bees in the air a chance to find the hive.

Within just a few minutes all of the bees (except for that one that kept attacking my veil, of course) were inside the hive.

Was this late in the year for a colony to swarm in Colorado?  Quite!

Why would they do that?  Well, for one, this was a purchased Nuc and the queen was probably bred in California.  This colony is not adapted to this region... yet.  But the good news is that this colony was thriving to the point that it felt it had a good chance of successfully reproducing.  Even though, unknowingly to the colony, its timing was not optimum.

Will they survive the winter?  There's a good chance!

How can that be?  This very wise, bee-centered beekeeper had kept full frames of honey for just such a need as this.  She was able to set a full box of honey on top of this new hive.

She was excited to see a colony that she is hosting swarm, to experience the beauty and wonder of a swarm, to be able to hive that swarm, and to have the surplus honey to help them have a chance of surviving the coming winter.

 

 


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