BEEKEEPING IN THE NORTHEAST - An account of my beekeeping, not a treatise of expertise, but for friends & family who wish to keep bees vicariously through me, and for the occasional apiarist passer-by.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Swarming on a Sunny Afternoon

Very eventful weekend....the wildflowers are in bloom...beautiful! And...the Lavender hive swarmed!

Saturday they began acting agitated at 1 p.m.
I replaced the bag o' syrup with a full one.

Sunday they swarmed at 11 a.m. up into the trees momentarily, then off about 1800 feet as the bee flies, over our woods to the neighbors chimney.

It's ok...a little strange that they would swarm only six weeks after installation...but there are plenty of bees left behind to raise honey stores for the winter. It was not the beautiful experience of my first swarm. These bees seemed agitated all weekend long. Nice of them to swarm while I was home! If I had not seen it I would not have known. I believe they are presently queen-less and the new queen has not yet hatched. So I wait and see. I went into the hive to observe if there was a problem and perhaps robbing going on.

Fellow beekeeper advised to see if the weight of the supers was normal honey-weight or oddly light...means robbing. If queen cells are present, they swarmed. What I did notice was that the queen had not been laying....normal for swarming preparation. I hope I did not damage any unhatched queen cells..but I only thought I saw one.

I walked around enjoying the beautiful day with binoculars and my camera hoping to find where they had gone to. All along they were in our neighbors fireplace! They had called to tell me ..not the bees, the neighbors...while I was snapping pictures all around their yard. Two hours later, I got the message and we rallied the troops...local beekeepers figure out what to do. The thought was they would not choose to stay and sure enough, even while we spoke, they left! I missed it though. I don't know where they went!

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