Shepherds Run Farm

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Month: May 2016

2016 Mother Hive Swarm-Part 2

Hive Swarm – Part Two.

In my previous post, I had related the story about how I had received a truck load of beekeeping equipment and that I was hoping my “Mother Hive” would swarm. Today as I was suiting up to do a few things with the new hives, I heard a really loud buzzing and my attention was drawn to one side of the garage. When I looked, I noticed a huge “tornado” of bees – I knew instantly that my large hive had swarmed. The only thing now was to wait to see if they went into one of the boxes they had been investigating over the past few days. And sure enough, they did. They went right in, they went directly from the main hive to one of the new ones I had set up only days before.

I should have grabbed the tri-pod when I went in to grab the camera, but hindsight is 20/20. Please forgive the shakiness, I was in a rush to capture this incredible “force” of nature. If you’ve never stood in the middle of a swarm of bees, it is an incredible rush. Thousands of bees flying, buzzing,

The whole process took a while as the swarm was actually very large, but they went in and got settled. Such a neat experience and I am grateful to have been outside and able to observe the swarm when it occurred.

2016 Mother Hive Swarm

Hive Swarm – Part One.

Earlier this spring I went into what I am calling the “Mother Hive”. Lots of queen cells so I figured she was going to swarm. Actually, I was hoping she would as I really did not want to do a split. The 20 thousand dollar question was whether or not I would be able to catch it if it did swarm.

Ford truck full of beekeeping equipment. Hoping for a swarm.

Thanks to Rick F. for a bounty of equipment.

This spring (May specifically) Maryland has had rain. Rain, endless rain, day after day rain; and it prevented me from getting down to Southern Maryland to pick up some used bee equipment from my friend. I had used up all of my supplies on the three new packages, and the swarm I caught at a neighbor’s place earlier in the month. Long story short, I was able to pick up a truck load of equipment to inject new life into my dwindling equipment supply. It took days to unload and sort through all of the stuff. Boxes and boxes of drawn comb, inner and outer covers, bottom boards, and even some in hive feeders. My friend is going from a 10-frame box to an 8-frame set up. None of this stuff was going to work for him anymore. My gain completely!

Swarm bait boxesSo after everything was sorted and cleaned, I had enough drawn comb to set up 4 separate hives as possible options just in case that Mother Hive decided to swarm. Since the bees were investigating the equipment while it was in the truck, I was hopeful that once I had set everything up, they would continue to be curious. It didn’t take long before I noticed they were definitely checking out all of the boxes, but two specifically – the top left, and the bottom right. All I could do was wait and see what would happen. And four days later in happened…click the bee for the rest of the story.




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