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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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Overwintered Hives Are Big Swarmers

While it is great to get honey off an overwintered hive in May, the downside come in June when swarming starts in earnest.
 The recent warm weather and more crowded conditions lay the ground work for swarming.
 The nectar flow from the dandelion and fruit bloom is waning with no other nectar flows imminent other than Black Locust trees. Black Locust trees should be blooming now in the south metro, coming soon to the whole lower part of MN and WI. But, I digress.
 Swarm management needs to be followed now, in all strong colonies. Checking for swarm cells every seven days. If you miss a swarm cell, the bees are gone.
 This hive swarmed today.
Bees can be sneaky during swarming time. This swarm cell is on the top bar of a hive I checked today.

Oh Oh, capped swarm cell. The odds are very high if you see capped swarm cells the bees have already boogied. You don't necessarily want to kill capped swarm cells. You may need them to make a queen. You can take a frame with a swarm cell and the adhering bees and move it into a nuc box for an extra queen.

I helped a beekeeper today with her swarm. She saw the bees swarm and land inside a honeysuckle bush. The bees were about three feet off the ground. Easy to get to. We caught the swarm and we put it back into the hive they came from. There were some steps we had to go through. The beekeeper and I made a video. I will try to get it out soon.