My first swarm for this season. And as it happened it was my second as well. I’d seen a few bees cruising around with what I thought was a cleansing flight, but I 5mins later I could hear that excited telltale buzz. I proceeded to catch it about 10mtrs up and drop it in a box, and observed bees faning to give me a clue the queen was in the house. Checked it later and they’d all headed back to the hive. I observed a tiny cluster of about 20 bees on the ground. Thought Id better check, and found the queen. I’m thinking they didn’t starve her enough so she could fly. So after another swarm 2 days later, landing in the same tree, my excitement, for this swarm, has come to an end. I’ve contracted covid so now Ive found some time in iso to go back over lots of topics, gems, knowledge
(hi @JeffH) to pass the time away.
Hi Alan, I caught a huge swarm, evidently out of a single brood/ single super Flow hive. It’s hard to believe that so many bees came out of such a hive. I since killed the queen, on account of aggression & have split the colony into 5 nucs, each with a frame of brood containing starter queen cells. Another Flow hive swarmed a couple of days later, so we were told by the lady of the swarm. We haven’t been contacted about that one. However we captured a swarm from that hive (in Mooloolaba) earlier this year.
We probably don’t need them on account that I’m running out of lids & bottom boards, although I could extend myself to capture any that come my way
I went out yesterday to catch another huge swarm (so I thought) from one of a client’s 3 hives. The primary swarm must have issued, unnoticed, because this swarm was only a caste swarm.
I identified the suspect hive by removing the lid. A second hive was still building up, I think. I’ll know more this morning. The third hive, which had the queen above a suspected faulty QE, was absolutely full of bees & making swarm preparations.
My mission before breakfast is to heavily split the strong hive, as well as do brood checks on the other two hives. My fee will be the split.
Spring IS certainly here.
Hi Jeff. I think you/we’re going to have a busy swarm season judging by the amount of trees that are showing signs of flowers at the moment. I’m certainly behind the 8 ball right now as I’m just getting over covid and it’s affects. 10 days iso put my out. Unfortunately I got it from my son who looked after his grandad in hospital for the night on another issue. They both contracted it and the Grandad passed away. So now it’s trying to catch up with reduced energy. I know I’ll miss a few swarm from my own hives. With so many hives lost in floods and fires over the last few years in NSW and QLD I can think myself lucky I guess. Catch up soon.
Hi Alan, I’m sorry to hear about your Covid infection. I hope you’re back to full strength soon.
I finished up splitting the really strong colony. I think I’ll end up with 3 nucs out of that one.
I took a 4 frame split out of the colony that was still building, on account of a lot of sealed brood. The colony was ready to explode in population. Another 2 nucs
I didn’t check the one that I suspect had already swarmed.
I’ll go back in 3 weeks for another look.
Back to my own bees tomorrow.
In reply to my comment 8 days ago, where I caught a huge swarm from the yard with 2 Flow hives. Now today, we got a call from the next door neighbor with bees in the wall up too high.for me to do a trap-out. They’ll have to be poisoned.
Oh that’s a pity. I went into my own backyard Flowhive and took out lots of brood to bolster up some other hives that have swarmed, and swams i have caught. I went in to three different hives checking their status but I think I should be splitting the Flowhive again. Both the brood box and super were chockers with them building into the roof again. After that, I had to have a little lie down. Ha! Can’t wait to see the end of covid, and get back to life as a beekeeper, surfer, cook, healthy human, dog walker, and just appreciate our beautiful part of Australia. Good luck everyone with the busy Spring now in action.
It’s a real balancing act. We need to not only monitor the population as it stands, but also try to estimate how it will be in the coming weeks, based on how much brood will emerge, baring in mind that 3 frames of bees will emerge out of a full frame of brood.
I think that a colony estimates that, when making decisions on swarm preparations. That’s why I remove mostly sealed brood when doing preemptive swarm control splits.
Yes. I looked in amazement at one frame, and it was close to the outside, I almost couldn’t see a spare spot. It was capped brood. So good to see. Love your accumulated life/bee knowledge Jeff. Keep it coming in the forums.
Hi Al, those frames ARE good to see. I get some strange looks whenever I show such a frame to new beekeepers, before telling them that “this is what beekeeper’s dreams are made of”.
Alan, did you say “spring is here”. It was only flirting with us then. It’s well & truly here now. I went to sleep last night thinking of the emerging bees at that point in time. Then woke up thinking of emerging bees. Bees are emerging now, boosting populations, in readiness for swarming.
Wherever I go, there’s large areas of clover & most of the gum trees are in flower.