Thursday, April 24, 2008

Swarm = Hive #3!

I got a call from my wife that there was a swarm of bees on one of our camellia bushes in the back yard. Yikes - was this my bees leaving the hive?

So I got home and found a beautiful swarm embedded in the camellia bush, I decided to not worry about where it came from until later, right now I needed to get this swarm boxed. Well, I did have some more mediums, and some foundation (no drawn comb - this could make it less likely that they will stay), and a bottom board, but no top. I improvised and then went over to our favorite wooden ware guru later and got another top. Here is a picture of the box next to the camellia. I had strapped it thinking I was going to move it and then decided to leave it right were it was. The box had frames in the bottom box, but had an empty super on top to catch the bees.

Here are a couple of pictures of the swarm. I am cutting away the branches around it so I can get the branch out with the bees on it.

So, it is a mass of bees! As I am cutting all of a sudden half of the swarm drops and almost falls to the ground - there were two branches in there! So I took a small portion of the swarm and dumped it into the box. This picture show the swarm after the branch dropped off and almost split the swarm in half.

After I cut the main branch that contained the swarm I jerked the branch over the box and the bees fell neatly into the box (it was amazingly easy). The picture below shows the bees right after jerking the branch.

As I was getting the smaller branches with a few bees still hanging on the bees began collecting in one corner - I am hopeful that they were collecting around the queen (meaning I got the queen!) - see the picture below.

I then took about 6 frames frames of foundation and placed them in the top box. I only had six left made up, plus I did not want to squish the bees collected in the corner. I then put a couple of jars of sugar syrup right on these frames (I don't have another inner cover either) and closed them up.

Oh, yeah and so you know I really am a beginner, we at first had the screened bottom board on upside down and it just looked funny - we finally had to lift the box and flip the bottom board to get it right. Hopefully I did not completely freak the bees out.

Now to wait and see if they like there new home or they keep looking.

I did go into my other hives to see if these were my bees looking for a new home. My hives were still full of bees busy working. As stated last time Hive #2 is still the most active hive just about filling up the upper second box with brood and some stores. Hive #1 still seems strong but content in their bottom box?

So it looks like I got a free box of bees (if they stay).

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