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My Bees Swarm – Spring 2016

The Bees Have Swarmed 2016

It was only a few days before the official start of spring; the grass and weeds had begunIMG_8223 growing full speed. It was grass-cutting time. Besides, it was on my list of things to do. As I stepped off the back porch, I heard a big commotion happening in my adjacent yard where the bees are kept. “Oh, no!” “Not today!” I stated to the atmosphere. “The bees are swarming!” At that moment, the mowing of the yard was put on hold. Although, catching a swarm was not on my to do list! But, luckily for me, the bees swarmed while I was home and they found a perfect staging area right behind the hive in a bush, just as they have done in the past. So, I suited up and went to work finding frames here and there to make a new home for the swarmers. Is “swarmers” even a word? “Yes.” I digress.

I had a small empty hive already setup in the yard, hoping to one day come home and find that some bees moved in, but that never happened. I quickly got the extra frames and a second hive body to add to the empty hive. However, I was missing at least 3 frames. But, I had no time to really worry in the heat of the moment. The next thing now was to figure out what materials I needed to catch them. Good thing, I had some old storage containers in the shed and managed to use one of them.   It was great because it had two hinged flaps on each side that made it easy to close once the bees were captured and inside.

IMG_8228Now, the tricky part was figuring out, how to cut the bush limbs so that the bees and all could simply fall inside the container. Of course, each cut I made to a limb disturbed the bees. I am sure it had to be at least 5 to 7 lbs of bees (that’s a lotta bees).  This caused another problem because the small hive I made was too small for that amount of bees. So, with quick thinking, I had to take a super from the old hive (that they swarmed from) and move it to the new hive. This was not pretty at all because I am thinking they have already swarmed and now I am interrupting the ones left behind. Unfortunately, I had no choice.

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After taking the extra super from the old hive and adding it to the new one, the only thing left to do was installing the caught swarm to the new hive.   It took me three trips from their staging area (bush) because as I stated earlier it was a lot of bees. Finally, the last batch was installed. The last thing was to find the extra frames. Well, there were none. I ended up contacting a beekeeper who lives outside of Atlanta but not to far from me who owns a small beekeeping store. I was able to jump in the car and buy some new frames—problem solved!

 

Moral of the Story,

As a beekeeper, one should always be ready because you never know when you might have the opportunity to catch a swarm! It is always a good thing to get your bees for free <smile> even when the bees are an offspring of your own.

Get some spare supplies and have them around just in case it happens to you!

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Happy Beekeeping!

AABK

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Comments
One Response to “My Bees Swarm – Spring 2016”
  1. Jolivette says:

    Awesome!!

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