I made the rounds this weekend checking my trap hives--I've caught five new swarms within the last week or so. I actually thought the swarms were done for the season. For just about four weeks I didn't have anything new. We started to get a bit of rain and the weather turned a bit cooler than normal which I think threw everything off. It should still be bone dry at this time of the year but now the whole valley has turned green.
This is unusual. The real rains and the real beginning of the rainy season shouldn't be until the end of May. But things are sort of back to normal now and some colonies have begun to swarm again.
One of the swarms actually landed in the trap hive I have in a mango tree about fifteen feet from the back door. No one even heard them arrive. I happened to look up at it the other morning and "hey, there's bees up there." So that's when I went around checking the rest of the boxes. Another of them is the fourth I caught this year in the same tree with a box in exactly the same spot.
So that makes 27 total for me, with hopes that I might catch a few more in the next two or three weeks. I've now filled just about 80 percent of the bait boxes that I've set out. I also had to set up a new yard to accomodate all of them. With these new swarms I should have 17 hives there for next year.
It makes me wonder how many more swarms I could have caught if I had more bait boxes available. Making at least 20 new ones is on my "to do" list for next year.
The honey season is just about over also. In the next two weeks I need to make the rounds to harvest the last of the honey.