I got home from picking up my son at school this afternoon and thought I'd move a small brush pile over to my burn pile area. Low and behold there was a swarm of bees (from my hive that had faired very well through the winter). I had opened that hive a couple weeks ago and found no supersedure or swarm queen cells but did put on a third hive body since it was thick with bees. Probably should have done a split.
Anyway, the bees were courteous enough to swarm only about 30 feet from the hive at near ground level on the brush pile. I got a hive body with drawn comb (minus two frames) and attached a bottom board to it so I could easily carry the hive. I slid the hive under the swarm, shook the branches, and into the hive fell about 2/3 of the bees. I then replaced the remaining two frames. Many bees went to the hive entrance, put their little bee butts in the air, and did their "come hither" fanning (and spreading pheremones, I guess). In about 40 minutes the remaining bees entered the hive. I put on a top cover, carried them to their new home, and put on a top feeder with a couple gallons of sugar syrup. Hopefully they'll like their new home and will be there tomorrow.
Pretty exciting stuff for this second year beekeeper. I was glad they were docile like I'd read about. They were busy making their new home and pretty much ignored me.
Might I suggest that next time you put a queen includer under the brood box for the first week? Once she is laying she won't go anywhere, but for the first few days it's just insurance.
If you have it, half a pollen pattie wouldn't hurt either.
Biil, said "Might I suggest that next time you put a queen includer under the brood box for the first week? Once she is laying she won't go anywhere, but for the first few days it's just insurance."
Thanks, Bill. I'll keep that in mind for the next time.
"If you have it, half a pollen pattie wouldn't hurt either."
I put in a frame of last fall's honey and frame with pollen from another hive to get them started. Hopefully that should do them ok. They were buzzing away inside the hive this morning when I listened through the screened bottom board.
>I put in a frame of last fall's honey and frame with pollen from another hive to get them started.
That will give them a good start. The only way you could improve is to give them a frame of brood. I give every swarm a frame of brood right away and the small ones another a week later, instant nuc.
My first swarm last monday covered eight medium frames and they were still clustered tight on the queen. Given enough stores and brood this time of year, they should make a crop.
Me too! Got a good-sized swarm the Sunday before last and the procedure went exactly as BeeMiner's did except mine was a little more involved because there was a large clump and then a lot of softball-size clumps (they landed in a pine tree). The large one went right into the hive; the smaller ones on a sheet ramped up to the entrance. They all filed in like a row of ants! It was amazing to watch. They entirely filled a deep and I plan on putting a second box on this weekend. They're going through 1/2 gallon of syrup a day and bringing in pollen like crazy. I, too, am a second-year beekeeper and found it very exciting.