Hello everyone, Got my first call for a swarm. Looks like they may have made their way into a home, but were clustered on the eave still so maybe I can persuade them into my box. If not, looks like an easy cutout once they get established. This freaky weather has me concerned that the bees are going to build, swarm, and establish their new homes, only to have a cold front come through and kill their nectar and pollen sources and therefore the bees as well. Even the ones in my hives may not have the stores needed if that happens, what with the increase in the bees numbers with what may be a false spring. Only God knows what weather we are in for in the next few months. At least most of the trees made it through the first blooming without having their blooms frozen off like most springs. Anyone else seen any signs of swarms so far? Ben
I haven't seen signs of swarms nor have I gotten any calls for them. I am keeping my equipment in my truck for quick calls though.
The Farmer's Almanac says we're out of it...this is my first year to rely on the almanac, so I still have reservations about trusting it completely. It's been very accurate for us thus far though. The only time it mentions a "cool" spell is in late May.
Went to a bee tree last week planning to maybe do a trap out. When I drove up the bees were swarming about 10ft up so I ran home and got my ladder and captured them. This is the first swarm I have seen this year. Have checked most of my hives, I see swarm cups but have not seen any swarm cells filled out. I agree, this is a strange spring. Some hives are bringing in nectar and some are not. Today is the first day of spring so I hope the warm weather will continue.
Well on the 19th, I came home to find 2 separate swarms from 2 of my hives. 1 in a tree and 1 on the base of my hive stand. Spent most of that day trying to put them in a hive but both left the box and went back to their original place several times. Eventually, I won and now they are happy in my boxes. I have several swarm boxes placed in various areas around my place but they hadn't found them b4 I saw them hanging out. I imagine they would have eventually located the empty boxes with frames and old comb in it, but I didn't want to take the chance of them flying away and went ahead and manually retrieved them.
I'm a little surprised that I haven't gotten more calls for swarms than I have. But I have a feeling that they are going to come in like a tidal wave. Ben
Had a swarm call from Tupelo Late yesterday afternoon. Caught them early this morning from a bradford pear about three feet off the ground. Looks like swarm season will be al ittle early this year.
I had a call from a lady in Yalobusha county about some bees in a fallen tree in her yard. Kind of a drive for me so I passed it on to a couple guys in Water Valley but haven't heard if they got them yet. I came home on the 24th to find a swarm in my pear tree that I successfully got in a box. Then one again yesterday from a top bar hive that is at about 35 feet up in a tree at the moment. I put a baited hive body under the tree and hope they decide to use it. I'm not going up there. We'll see what happens with them. Ben
Well, the swarm up in the tree took off and chose not to use my box yesterday midday. I went scouting the woods trying to locate them only to find another swarm off of another hive that is kind of tucked away. I haven't been paying that much attention to the queen cells they are making in the boxes and I figured that I'd have a few swarms, but this is more than I was thinking. I'm running out of hive bodies. I did manage to get it boxed up as it was only 6 feet off the ground. I have to say, I enjoy claiming them when they aren't 35 feet up. 3-6 feet in a pine or pear tree is nice.
Paintingpreacher, how did you get a call about a Tupelo swarm? Must have been someone that knew you or about you. Kind of a drive. I just figured that the local authorities would have had the names of some local beekeepers. Thanks, Ben
Occasionally I get a call from the Tupelo area as I have friends in the pest control business there. This swarm was south of town near Verona. They contacted three different beekeepers before me, but none were able to get them. They are working good.
Good. I have 1 swarm that was about the size of a softball when I saw them. I put them in a nuc with a frame of drawn comb and they just haven't done much. Seems like the queen just doesn't want to lay. She is quite active, large and easy to spot. So I took a frame of eggs/brood from another box and put in with them. I figure either they will supersede her or they won't. Any suggestions? Thanks, Ben
Sounds like you have done right by putting in a frame of brood. If they do not have much store you might encourage her to lay by giving them some sugar syrup. Sometimes that works for me.