Monday, June 24, 2013

Hiving a Swarm

I have two new favourite tools that I keep handy for swarm collecting.

They are a rake and a cardboard box.

This medium/small sized swarm landed in the pear tree right next to the hive they swarmed from.

I was fortunate this time because they landed only about 12' off the ground.

The other two swarms I had in this same tree were 25' and 30' up.  Too high to try to get down.
Spring has been a little frustrating with rainy weather.

A busy work schedule prevented me getting time off to be in the yard.

So I lost 3 swarms, although as mentioned, a couple of them were pretty high up.

The wind and rain had made it difficult for the bees.

Clumps of them had dropped off the swarm and fallen on top of the hive.

Miserable wet bees.

I stood on a stool and put my rake up to grab the branch the swarm was on.

Then I pulled it down within reach.

Next I shook the bees from the box into a waiting hive.

I used a nuc on this occasion but I find when shaking you need a box that's wider so it'll catch more bees.

The cardboard is light to which makes carrying it up a ladder easier.
Next I shake the box into a waiting hive.

I remove a few centre frames so the pile of bees have a spot to fall into.

After they've been in there a few minutes I can gently set the frames in place.
If you get the queen it won't take any time at all until the bees have their butts in the air scenting the homing scent with their nasonov glands.

 Wet and cold bees seem to take really well to being put into a nice cozy hive.
Then I put paper towel in a container and plucked up the wet bees and dropped them in it.  They dried out very quickly.  Then I shook these stragglers into the hive.

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