Things I've learned
Things I have learned about buying bees and hives
1.When you buy hive and the guy says some might need to be split, and you can't get to it right away cause you are cleaning all these hives, add an extra super right off the bat to give them room so they do not decide to swarm
2. buy hives from a beek who keeps them like you do. If you don't mind if they had apistan from several season back still in or several queen cages from long ago then buy them.
3. no matter if they are still winter wrapped take a good look through a few of the hives you are going to buy.
Things I've learned about swarms
1. swarming time is just like calving. got to be on the ball to save them.
2. as a cattle producer i have to say, do away with the ladder in the tree and go right for the loader and bucket...works every time.
chainsaws however do not work so well
3. Be prepared, shears to cut the branches as needed, super with some honey, bottom board, lid and entrance reducer
the reducer can make or break the catch of the swarm. Every swarm we have caught in the last three days the ones with the reducer were plentiful. The ones with out the reducer did not have as many bees as what got dumped in there.
4. Because the swarm has to adjust have extra food stores. If none are available, sugar water and 1/2 a pollen patty in the hive works well at convincing them to stay for a while
Out of 12 swarms caught, 10 stayed.
I wish i was better prepared and had gone through all the hives before they got to that point though.
You know you are a beek when you mow the bee yard before you mow your own yard and consider getting a goat mow the lawn
And finally you know you are a cattle producer and a beekeeper when you ask your self if a white cow would mind mowing the lawn around the bee yard and save you some time.
I've learned on more thing...
...dogs like pollen patties...and she will probably have a gut ache tomorrow
Great tips....keep em coming.