Monday, May 14, 2007

A swarm in May....

I love beekeeping! If I wasn't wrestling a baby I would be more involved. We had a fun morning and to my great relief actually caught a swarm that was happening before our eyes. We have lost swarms before so this was truly a relief. Erik was making a split from another hive when I mentioned that a hive was looking angrier than normal so.......the bees got busier and were showing the tell tale signs of an imanant swarm. Erik took the honey super off of it and a few minutes later they settled into it. He didn't take the super off for any other reason than to try to get into the hive and tell them to stop (ha ha). He really said that "don't swarm, stop it!" I called the beekeeping president and he said "cool, put a brood chamber on top and shut her up. You can retrieve the honey super in a few days." So there you have it, we have another hive with little effort. A swarm in May is worth a load of hay. THis year it may be worth a lot more!

The last few swarms we experienced in previous years were lost to tall trees and hollow trees. Bummer.

I love the critical thinking involved in beekeeping. How do we psych these creatures out and get a honey crop! Last year's crop was so/so. It was a year of clean up which needs to continue this year as well. Hopefully we can find enough time this summer to do this. I wish I knew how to post pictures as the bee pictures are pretty cool.

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