Two Honeybee Swarms In One Day!
By Mary Murray
As I’m about to complete my first year of beekeeping, it’s been a year filled with learning. I’ve read as many books as I can get my hands on, joined the local beekeepers club, tagged along with my beekeeping neighbor, and visited apiaries for a variety of demonstrations. And, with any luck, this year we’ll enjoy our first honey.
However, I never would have thought I’d be a part of back-to-back swarm captures! Here’s how it all began…
My beekeeping neighbor found swarm cells during her last hive inspection, and so asked our bee mentor to take a look at them with her. I was invited to tag along, which is always a terrific way to learn something new
As I was putting on my bee suit, I received a message that she’d just discovered a swarm…what luck, and with our mentor on the way! It was amazing to see how the swarm was caught and then moved to a new hive. Viola…she instantly has more bees!
Here are a few snapshots of our adventure…
The swarm was easily snipped from a nearby evergreen branch, carried to a waiting nuc, and the bees shaken off. They were incredibly gentle and easily settled into their temporary home.
About this time, my husband and son came by to let us know there was now a swarm at our house! Still suited up, the timing couldn’t have been better, and this is what we found…
Again, we were lucky that the swarm was low enough to be easily cut free…
and the second swarm also settled nicely into their new home…
Wow, what a day!
Our neighbor is keeping her swarm…making 4 hives at her home. She sells honey at the local farmers’ market each week, along with other markets around town. However; I’ve decided I’m still learning, and not ready to add a second hive just yet. And although I hate to lose the swarm’s queen (she has a good temperament making the hive a very gentle one), I’ll have one of her daughters in our original hive.
And so it goes…you just never know what each new day will bring!
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