Saturday, April 18, 2009

I thought it was all over, it is now!

Walked down to the apiary yesterday, looked at all the entrances and watched the bees bringing in bright orange and white pollen. The dog came with me for the walk and we passed through the apiary and around the side of it into the olive grove. There in an olive tree was a good sized cast! Seems like they still have an urge to swarm even after I cut out all the queen cells over 3 weeks ago. Oh well, maybe one hive was just later than the rest. I decided that this one may be my contribution to the feral population and didn't retrieve it. I hedged my bets though and put out a Layens bait hive with starter strips and some old comb by the garage. They were still in the tree when I did my evening walk and again when I did my morning walk this morning. The scout bees were checking out the bait hive most of the day, then mid afternoon when I looked there were no more scout bees at the bait hive. OK, fair enough I thought, they have gone feral! I walked down to the apiary to see if they had gone and was amazed to see them going into a layens hive that I had combined 3 casts in 3 weeks ago! The bees in that hive have been flying everyday right up until I saw this happening. I wonder what process is going on here, if anyone has any ideas I would appreciate knowing them. I am hoping this is a one off and not a new wave of swarm fever. I am keeping the bait hive out just in case and will be vigilant for the next week until I depart.

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