Monday, March 23, 2009

A swarm in an olive tree

A swarm issued from one of my hives today. It was about 3pm when I noticed it on the bough of an old olive tree next to my home apiary. I went to get suited and booted and found a cardboard box and a sheet. I laid the sheet on the ground and held the box under the swarm and gave the bough a sharp shake. Most of the swarm went into the box with a bit of a thud. I quickly upturned the box onto the sheet. There was a hole about 2 inches across on one corner of the box. A lot of the bees re-clustered on the bough so I shook again and brushed off the bees. They just kept flying off and returning to the bough, I cut a section of the bough off and laid it by the box. I then decided to leave things alone because if the queen was in the box they would soon join her. I checked about an hour later and sure enough they had joined her in the box and the bough was clear of bees. I left them again until 7-15pm when it was just going dark outside. Enough light to see but bees had stopped flying. I wrapped the sheet around the box, lifted it up and walked up to the apiary. I opened a prepared Kenyan top bar hive with half the bars removed and dumped the majority of bees inside the hive. Using the bee brush, I coaxed the bees back in whilst replacing top bars with the other until the full complement of bars were in place. I fitted a queen includer over the entrance and laid the sheet with a still large amount of bees on in front and up to the entrance. I knew I had the queen inside when thousands of bees walked up the sheet and into the hive. By this time it was getting quite dark and I knew they wouldn't be going anywhere. Layens to kenyan top bar hive the easy way!

1 comment:

  1. HI

    Did your bees showed any sign of going to swarm before they did?