Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Beekeeping: New Bees Again (June 9, 2020)

Yesterday, friends notified me that their bees had swarmed and that the bees were hanging out in a very easily accessible location low on a fig tree. I was happy to pick them up. It was about the easiest swarm capture I've ever done. The bees dropped easily into my homemade swarm capture box and I drove them home on the car seat next to me. About five years ago I captured a swarm that subsequently left not too long after I installed them or they succumbed to the so-called "disappearing disease." I hope these new bees fare better. I still had the two deep hive boxes from the last swarm and today I added a super and a queen excluder to give them more room. I also decided to feed them a little to get them off to a good start. We'll see....

[Edit: Today is June 14, so the bees have been in the new hive for five days now. Today for the first time I noticed bees bringing in pollen, which is a good sign, as it means there is brood to feed or there will be soon. Until today, all the bees I saw coming back to the hive were bringing in nectar only. They need nectar to produce wax. As these were installed on bare foundation (no drawn comb) they will have had to build comb from scratch. It's amazing how quickly they work. They can build a significant amount of comb in a day, so I suspect things are progressing well. I won't open the hive to check on things, though, for a couple of weeks. You can tell everything you need to know usually just by watching the patterns of activity. And, as I say, pollen coming in is a good sign.]

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