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.

Search This Blog

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Swarming is happening now

I was out helping a beekeeper with a bad shoulder go through his bees. He had one colony overwinter. It was packed with bees. By the time we were able to go through the colony (the photos tell it all) the hive had swarmed. Overcrowded colonies move forward with their swarm plans no matter what the weather. This colony made the swarm cells and took off a day or so ago. There were swarm cells in all three deeps. Must have been thirty swarm cells throughout the hive.
If beekeepers don't divide, the bees will divide themselves.

Many swarm cells. Proof that swarm cells are not always on the bottom of a frame.

Swarm cells on the bottom of frames. Just the swarm cells that we can see on the two pics add up to around 18 swarm cells.
We squashed all the swarm cells. If a queen had emerged from a swarm cell, it is very unlikely that the virgin queen (had one emerged), would have been properly mated. We went through every frame making sure all the cells were destroyed. A hive check in a few days to make sure we don't see any eggs (in case we missed seeing the old queen) then put in a new mated queen. The hive is still crowded with bees and there were many frames of capped brood. The hive will recover very well with 6 weeks to the start of the main nectar flow.