This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Swarming and Bears

A beekeeper sent me this photo. She was planning a divide and missed a swarm cell. She was disappointed because the divide was going to happen that day.

A ladder would not have helped.

This week with the warm weather swarming will kick into high gear. It is important to remove all entrance reducers from strong colonies. Also keep looking for swarm cells in the strong colonies.
If the over wintered colonies have not been divided, now is the time to do it.
Adding another box to a strong colony will not stop swarming.
Yesterday I was checking my colonies and noticed a swarm had moved into some deeps I had sitting there. All of my hives there where packages, so I thank the beekeeper whose bees moved in for the new colony.
Bears have been moving around leaving a path of destruction in their wake.
I live in northern Washington County. This is now bear country as is Anoka County according to the MN DNR.
Most of my bee yards are electrified. It works and they will stop a bear.
Two beekeepers living just north of me have been hit in the last week. They both put up an electric fence ATB (after the bear). One of them bought an electric fencer that is used on buffalo. Now that is my kind of beekeeper.
If you live where there is bears, even an occasional bear, you will get hit at sometime. It will be at a time when the bees are at their best and will be an emotional let down.
My suggestion is to put up a bear fence before the bears hit or you will pay for the fence and new equipment ATB.

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