Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Saw/I Conquered --- Rehoming a Swarm of Bees

My husband called me over to the hive area on Saturday to alert me to some strange activity at the bee hive.  I took one look and I knew; the bees were getting ready to swarm.

If you are new to bee keeping a swarm is when there are too many bees in the hive and at least half of the hive leaves with the queen to find a new home. (Wikipedia)  My swarm went 15 feet or so from the original hive.

We got a couple of old bee boxes and set them on some concrete blocks that we happened to have. And I added some organic honey to the boxes.   My other half kept me supplied with nets, matches for the smoker and a lot of moral support.  

Taking the bees off of the tree was not that difficult.  For the most part they were calm. 
They were intertwined together so they came off of the tree like a web.  I dumped net loads of bees into the boxes.  To get the last bit off of the tree I trimmed some branches and stuck a large box under the branch.  Then I took a broom and swept the bees down into the box.  This was the only time that the bees were really angry - they were guarding the queen who was at the inside of the mass.

I put some honey on a few frames and put those into the box and added a few frames of honey from the old hive.  Then I went in for a couple of hours.  Came out later to find all of the bees had moved into the new hive.  I put a top on it.

The bees have been there 3 days now and seem to be happy.  I will be opening the hive up later in the week or next week.  I want them to be happy and so will not disturb them much for awhile.


Andrea said...

You are the bee-whisperer.

jodi said...

Ha, you didn't hear me scream and see me run when I got the last of the bees into the box.