Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Swarm


Swarm in top of pine tree.

By this time last year we were on about our third swarm.  The weather last year was horrible after we installed the girls. Cold, rain, and not enough drawn out comb had them swarming.  All the beekeepers in the area were having trouble.  This year has been better.  I was sad to see last evening, one of the hives had swarmed.  At this point I am not exactly sure who the guilty culprit is because all the hives still looked hopping last evening.  We were able to capture all eight swarms last year, but this one is up to high for me to retrieve.  

Honeybee at base of pine tree clinging to grass under the swarm.

This poor little girl was exhausted and clinging to a blade of grass at the foot of the pine.  They tend to fall at the  base of the swarm as they get cold and weak.  Queen Dora had a few swarm cells when we checked last week.  We considered splitting the hive then, but tried spacing them some instead.  I am betting it is Dora up in the tree.

Empty super at the base of the pine with the swarm.

I placed an empty super at the base of the pine HOPING a scout would find it and call the girls home.  It was 45 degrees out this morning when I went out to check on the swarm. Still in the tree.  The last time a swarm landed this high, they moved lower by the end of the day and I could nab them.  Keeping my fingers crossed....

10 comments:

Stacy said...

How in the world do you catch a swarm of bees? That sounds painful!

Heather said...

Good luck! I know it will work out for you as your a good beekeeping mommy! I didn't know there was so much to bees!

Sarah: wife, mother, beekeeper said...

8! Holy Moly friend. I will be writing you when my bees decide to swarm.

mistress beek said...

Here's hoping!

Montana Anna said...

Oh wow... I don't know what I would do if my hive swarmed! What have you done in the past to catch a swarm? Good luck and hope all those pretty little bees find their way to a new home!

Anonymous said...

Good luck! It's heartbreaking to see them leave...especially with all that honey

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

I've never seen a swarm like that before. I hope they find a new home soon. It's sad to see that little hanging on to a blade of grass -Jackie

Beegirl said...

Thanks everyone!

Last year we did a number of things to capture the swarms.

1. Climbed trees, cut branch and shook bees into new hive box.
2. Bumped bees (whole basket ball sized clump) into cat litter bucket, shut lid, (paused to catch breath) then dumped into empty hive.
3. (my personal favorite) Call mentor who has the coolest BEE VACUUM I've ever seen. He would suck the swarms up into a little box and take them away!

We had plans to build a bee-vac this winter, but didn't get to it. The swarms were pretty docile last year and we were lucky not to get stung. It's tough though when they are wrapped around a tree trunk like that...

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

That Dora! What can she be thinking? Good luck!

Camie said...

Holy cow! I don't know what I'd do, although the bee-vac sure sounds interesting...