Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Love Heart Swarm

Yesterday, June 3rd, another prime swarm, this one is heart shaped.
They settled more or less on the main trunk of a young plum tree.

  A couple of days ago I placed some old brood comb in a bait hive and on Monday there were several bees checking it out.

There was also a lot of bearding on the mother hive on Monday and I could see through the window how full the hive was becoming.
All possible indications of an impending swarm.

I shook the swarm down into a swarm-catching, light, plastic planter and tipped them into the bait hive which I moved down to the plum tree. I also picked handfuls of long grass to "sweep" the bees from the trunk into the plant pot. After the first lot were tipped in I closed up the roof and all the rest walked in though the hive entrance.

This spring I am observing rather than preventing the natural behaviour of the bees. (Although I have prevented the swarms from choosing their hive). I am keen to build a small apiary of several colonies so that I can compare the different options of working with bees. I am looking to find the best approach that will be bee-friendly while also yielding honey, without the conventional approach of sugar feeding the bees after the honey harvest.

A swarm of bees in June.....  Hum a very merry tune!
The sound of a swarm is so harmonious. The swarm has such a perfect cohesive sense of purpose and every bee is humming that same sweet song.

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