Explore the blog, Then Check out our website

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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Catching Our Bees As They Swarm

This past month both of our bee hives decided to swarm and I just happened to notice both times and was able to catch them.  The first time I was prepared and had a box ready, we hadn't really expected our own bees to swarm but had hoped to catch a swarm from my mothers wild hive or my sisters wild hive.  The second time they swarmed I wasn't so prepared.  Once again Larry wasn't home to help me and I had to improvise

The swarm landed on my newly planted apple tree and I thought I was going to need to cut the little tree down to catch the swarm, crazy I know.  I just hate to miss a swarm of bees especially when they came from my hive.  Decided it would probably be best to just bend the tree over some and give it a good shake into a cardboard box.

I shook them into the box and they stayed, which means I got the queen.  At least I didn't cut the tree down.  It seems that the bees swarm about the first two weeks of May in our area, last year at this time we caught our first swarm of bees.
When Larry arrived home we very quickly put together a bee box that we had ordered a few months back.  It's really best to be prepared for your bees, have your boxes put together and painted but we fly by the seat of our pants around this farm.  You can order your bee boxes fully assembled or in pieces.  They're pretty easy to assemble and a little less expensive that way.

 Just put your dove tailed corners together.

Use a hammer to make them fit good and tight.

You'll need to put a couple of screws on each side to hold them together.

You can purchase the frames fully assembled or assemble yourself, we ordered them assembled this time.

 No time for a paint job but ready for the bees to go into the box.  Guess we'll paint it at a later time.  Bees won't wait on you.

In they go.

We put the frames in and now we have another hive.  We very quickly went from having two hives to having four.  I'm now in the process of studying up on how to prevent them from swarming next year.  Looks like it involves moving a few brood frames up and empty frames down into the brood chamber.  Sounds like this needs to be done very early in the spring before the maple trees begin to bloom.  I still have a lot of learning to do.  In spite of my lack of knowledge of bee keeping my bees seem to thrive on there own.  It's fun to learn as we go.
Have a great day!

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