The Little Swarm That Couldn’t
May 21, 2014 by solarbeez
May 11, 2014…This little nuc hive survived the winter in a tree without any help from me. No sugar feeding or pollen paddies supplied. (Tough love) No honey was taken. It came from a swarm on April 18, 2013. Now it’s ready to swarm.
Bees revving it up to make their move
Ten minutes later, the bees appear to be headed back into the hive. Later in the day, all was quiet.
May 19, 2014 (8 days later)…A swarm starts to form in the bamboo.
Could this be two swarms from the same hive?
May 19, 2014…While the swarm is forming on the bamboo, bees are fanning at the entrance to the tree hive.
By late afternoon, all the bees returned to the tree hive.
May 20, 2014 (next day)…A small swarm in the blackberries…
…and a small swarm in the bamboo.
Again, a small group of bees are fanning at the entrance to the tree hive, while other bees are flying around the two swarms.
Could it be that the queen can’t/won’t fly? It came from a swarm, so I know it’s wings haven’t been clipped. I guess I’ll find out in the next few days what is going on, but if a more experienced beekeeper wants to hazard a guess, I’d be curious.
In looking back at where this swarm originated from…from my log hive, on April 18, 2013. The swarm picked this patch of bamboo to settle in.
May 21…I checked to see if the swarm was still in the bamboo this morning. It was.
A closer look reveals that while small, this swarm might be big enough to make it. I called Bob to see if he still was interested in getting swarms for his Kenyan Top Bar Hives. He was.
Bob bags his first swarm. Bee Beard Log Hive looks on, as patient and quiet as ever.
Bob said he was interested in getting the blackberry swarm too. It went very well. Here the bees are fanning to indicate the queen is within.
Bob gets his second swarm. “Two in one day,” not bad for a new beekeeper!