Saturday, 23 April 2011

The swarm that got away...

On today's inspection we found about 8 Queen cells so we carried out artificial swarming, we were feeling quite happy about the way it all went. We were having a nice cool drink and I glanced out the window and saw lots of bees and said to Margaret 'It looks like a swarm in the tree!' So I guess I  messed it up, so out we went to try and catch it... 

This is half of my bees from hive one that have swarmed after we had done an artificial swarm control. Ok, lets get them back into a hive... 

We make a plan...

We have cut the branch off and then placed them in a box with new frames... 

Here is the box with the bees inside, we've left it here hoping the rest will find their way back too and set up home.... But its not long until...

.... here they all are 10 minutes later in a hedge about 2 metres away. 

So we smoked them into a box and called for help and by the time help had arrived 
we just got sight of them on their way again, we rushed outside but they were nowhere to be seen. 

Hive Two:
 This is the Queen I had marked with a yellow spot last year that we'd been looking for. 
We just thought she was being elusive, but Andy found her and placed a Queen cage over her. She'd lost her yellow spot which is how we lost her!

Now here he goes. What you see in this image is capped brood in the centre, pollen on the outside edge and stores of honey by the scissor handles.

Holding her by her head 

He marks her thorax

Much better job than I did last year. 

Now the wing which I've never done.

Andy is the local Bee Guru from the Bee Association and has been a great help and support over the last year. We are grateful to have someone local to help us, they're a very important resource for new bee-keepers - Thanks Andy!

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