Saturday, June 9, 2012

First Bee Swarm

     I received a phone call yesterday afternoon that my bees were swarming at our community garden.  I hurried down to the garden to capture my first swarm.  In retrospect I should have been prepared with equipment and new hive ready but where's the fun in that.  Fortunately the swarms were only 5 feet off the ground in an easily accessible, small trees.  Yes, I did say swarms as there was two within 5 meters.  I've always enjoyed trying new things especially if there is a hint of danger involved.  To my dismay the swarm retrieval went flawlessly without any drama.  The two swarms were relatively small so I combined the two and put them in a new hive.  We had a hive that was very weak and no signs of queen activity so I combined the swarms with the weak hive.  I put some syrup in the new hive to make the ladies more attracted to the new locale.  Today I checked on the new hive regularly as I worked in the garden for about 6 hours.  There was a tremendous amount of activity at the hive including pollen collection and submissive behaviour displays at the front entrance.  I expect this is a good sign as security at the new hive entrance appeared to be rather strict suggesting that they accepted their new home.  Best of all the swarms were not from my hives as I checked my hives shortly after and they appeared as they had when I inspected them a week ago.  I can't wait til my next swarm which I am fairly sure will be 50 feet up a tree or in a thorny blackberry patch.
     Today I watched the girls foraging or should I say frolicking in the peonies.  I have never seen so many bees in a single flower as I saw today in the peonies.  In virtually every flower there was between 3 and 6 honey bees at the all-you-can-eat buffet.


  1. Rose-Marie LarssonJune 12, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    You write such an informative, funny and thoroughly entertaining blog, Bruce! I can't wait til you get a swarm up a tree and hear how you solve that problem. And the photos are extraordinary.

    I'm going to recommend your blog to friends.

  2. Thanks Rose-Marie. Next time I get a swarm 50 feet up a tree I'll call you. You can climb the tree with me.


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