Another hectic day makes me think back to April and thinking that I was getting ahead. Foolish. Again it was bees that took up most of my time. I also saw two queens within what acted like a single swarm, rather than two swarms. This is how the day went.
Although I have stacks that I want to post about, once again, today it’s bees, and swarms again, and I’ve spent the whole day, in a bee suit, in the sun, and I feel like I’ve got a hangover before I sink the first glass of red.
Today was not all successful, and I wanted to make sure that I record my failures as well as my successes, so here goes…
Today I had arranged to do some scything tuition, but had told Andy that I may have to pause to house a swarm. He picked up the peening pretty quickly, which was good, but by late morning the sound of bees just kept getting louder. So I suited up, as did he, and we walked around the field looking for a swarm. There wasn’t one, but with thirteen colonies and a strong nectar flow, everywhere that you went sounded like a swarm.
I was pretty sure that at least one colony would go, so I did the rest of the session in my bee suit, and checked regularly. Again, no swarm. So we finished up, and I gave hime some lunch, and then, as he was interested in permaculture and Forest Gardening, I showed him around. On the way back down the hill, I saw some scout bees checking out the empty hive left strategically ready to use in the other field, and pointed them out, only to see more bees checking around the hive. No sooner had I said that there must be a swarm out, than I spotted a dark shadow on the far side of an apple tree, and had to say my goodbyes, and deal with the swarm. As I went back up the field, it was obvious that this was a big swarm, so I went and got my camera for a few pictures.
Yesterday I housed my sixth swarm of the season, and far from becoming routine, the process threw up a number of questions, including, do swarms travel with a spare queen? In the end, I think I can answer that, but at the time it was an interesting question to mull over, whilst observing the swarm taking up residence.
Well, I’ve had my first swarm of the season, which is about a week early. As predicted, the moment that the weather started to improve, swarming commenced. I found it at about 2 pm, and by just after 4, it was making it’s way into it’s new home, but more about that later.