My pile of bee boxes acted as a swarm lure.
Wow Jeff! Swarms are such a sight to see.
The buzz is… Jeff and Wilma’s place is THE PLACE TO BEE!!!
I’ve heard you excited before but your totally (if I can spell it) your ecstatic in this video. Love the excitement you n Wilma have. Congrats on the Score of the monster Swarm !
P.S. Up here Seattle we are slowly working toward autumn n fattening up our colonies for a long winters nap !
Hi Bobby, they sure are, it’s interesting to observe the bees returning home without pollen, only nectar. At the same time the bees in my other hives are returning home with pollen. I observed this behavior with fresh swarms in the past. They must only need honey in order to build comb in the initial stages. Then worry about pollen once the brood starts happening in a few days time. Those 2 frames of brood I added must contain enough pollen to look after that brood.
Thanks very much for all your videos Jeff and Wilma, We love watching them.
Thank you Gerald:) At the time of checking to see if I could find the queen yesterday, I had some honey ready to feed them, on account of the heavy downpour we had the previous night. I was amazed at how much comb they had built in that short time, & then to see honey stored as well. Amazing. I think that swarm will fill a box in no time. Spring doesn’t start here for another 10 days.
Hi Tim, your welcome, thank YOU:)
Hi Jeff, we just watched your video again, you mentioned your working hard getting your hives ready for swarming season. We are in Perth , just wondering what things do you think we should be doing at this time to help prevent swarming, as we live in the suburbs.
Hi Tim, I’m in a sub tropical climate. What I do at this time might be different to what you need to do in Perth. What I’m doing is all preemptive swarm control. While I’m doing that I’m building up more colonies as well as strengthening up some of my hives that got a bit run down.
Preemptive swarm control is basically weakening out the real strong hives before they actually start preparing to swarm. I need to do some hives 3 or 4 times in a season. It all depends on the colony. The brood I remove is normally the frames with the most sealed brood. I replace them with fresh foundation.
If your using deeps for brood in a single box & QX like I do, a good indicator is when the bees build brood right up to the top bar. When you see the bees making drones in the space under the QX, it’s time to look into the brood. Also a good indicator is when you see a lot of bees in the lid cavity doing nothing.
If this swarm in my video came from another beekeepers hive, he/she could have prevented that from happening by using a preemptive swarm control strategy.
Thanks for the reply Jeff. The brood frames you take out of the strong hive, you put them into a weaker hive?
If so, I was wondering what options we would have, as we only have one hive.
Good thing they didn’t eh, Jeff? For you I mean. That swarm’s going to make a killer colony by the looks.
Hi Tim, it would be advisable to have a second hive, because you never know when you might need it to help out the first one. If you don’t want to make a second hive, you need to figure out how you can keep the one hive strong during swarm season & prevent it from swarming at the same time. If you live in a residential area, it’s more imperative to prevent swarming. You wont want your bees moving into a neighbors wall cavity. If you live in a rural area, you could just let the bees do what bees do. Someone suggested that to me the other day. He lives in a residential area, I tried to advise him against that idea.
G’day Jack:) I was glad of the experience & the opportunity to make a video out of it. However, I’m going to be flatout in the next couple of months, just trying to prevent my own from swarming. Which means more colonies & lots of bees. I’m expecting the phone to start ringing any day now. People with swarms that I simply wont be able to go & catch.
Post them to me!
I have the opposite issue: a lot of empty hives here with more on the way and only one hive full of bees! Luckily it’s the right time of year - in the next two weeks I start swarm hunting for real- wish me luck! I am making a heap of 5 frame nuc and have located multiple sites to try and catch swarms. I might also advertise on gumtree to see if I can rescue any that land where they are not wanted. I have been watching and enjoying quite a few of your swarm hunting/catching videos to get myself prepared. I think I am ready!
I hope to got a can catch a giant swarm like your last one- what an awesome start to a season.
Thank you for the advice Jeff, we might look at a second hive.
I’m in Perth and checked last weekend on my one hive (very strong colony) and they were already building queen cells to swarm. I didn’t want to go to two hives but have accepted that it’s necessary for my colony at the moment, so have done an artificial split. I’ll either recombine them later or sell a nuc.
So definitely check your colony this week. I’ve got a friend with a weaker colony and they are only just starting to build up, so I guess it depends on the colony.
If you are not wanting a second hive and have frames of brood to offload I know people who might be interested for strengthening their weaker hives.
Another great video Jeff and Wilma. Thanks. I love the way the jokes come from the camera lady and the deft but gentle way the frames are always handled.
I remember that observation hive from our visit last year. You certainly put it to good use.
Well done Jack, I may not get as many phone calls as usual because there are people advertising free bee removals on gumtree over here. Another thing you could do is leave your phone number with the local council. They get lots of calls about swarms.