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Beekeeping, Honey Bees, Queen Bees, Swarms

Of Swarms and Inspections 2014: It Begins (Part 1)

The little %#&*$@s are starting early this year!  We had our first swarm, the garage bees, on  Wednesday 30 April 2014:

You don’t get so much the sense of size and density with this amateur video as you do the sound of it.  The sound of it is what usually attracts your attention.  These bees have experienced exponential growth  throughout April, obvious even under the most casual observation. We had scheduled our first inspection for this May Day holiday weekend, a little late it would seem.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

Things had settled dowb a bit, but you can still hear the swarming bees which had settled only a few feet away from the garage, in the favored spot at the end of the drive.

But that wasn’t all for the day.  This turned out to be a false swarm and so within a couple of hours they were all back in the hive.

(Big sigh)

We have set up a swarm catching nuc to see if we can direct them a bit and will still examine the hives this weekend.

(Parts 2 and 3 regaling you with wot we did on our holiday weekend, or rather what the bees did to be posted shortly. We are still recuperating from our exertions).


4 thoughts on “Of Swarms and Inspections 2014: It Begins (Part 1)

  1. Consider yourself lucky they waited until the end of April. Last year my first swarm happened on a very warm day at the end of MARCH. Then they waited about two weeks and swarmed April 17, 19, and 21st…all from the same hive. The swarms from the 17th and 21st are still going even though they were cast swarms.
    I totally understand the ‘exertions’. I’m not completely at ease with a bunch of circling bees, so there is a stress factor involved with chasing down swarms. 🙂

    Posted by solarbeez | May 6, 2014, 5:22 am
    • Yes, I have only had one cast for any one swarm I have had. The thing that really irks me is the false swarms. I seem to have more of those. (but you will see the outcome of this year’s false swarm in the next few posts). We don’t chase swarms if they are too high or awkward, so it’s not the exertion so much as the tiny suspicion that this wouldn’t happen if we took more ‘invasive’ approaches. Generally, the experience of a swarm, standing in the middle of it, is exhilarating. Of course, being nervous about the neighbors is not….

      Posted by mylatinnotebook | May 6, 2014, 8:57 am
  2. Things are very different over here – we collected the first swarm on 10th April, and so far have collected or caught (in traps) 7 and already have supers on 2 of them. Amazing year. As we have had so much rape seed around us now the bad weather spell seems to be over we must get into the established hives and do some honey removal. Need to get up to date with my posts! Just been a bit busy.

    Posted by beekeeperwife | May 7, 2014, 11:16 am

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