This weekend we had Brooke and Lizzie up to the roof to take a tour of the hive. Thanks for visiting gang!
Someone called it a few weeks ago when they said “I bet that windscreen is going to get torn apart.” After waiting for the bees to move on from their temporary home for a few weeks, we decided to go in and get ‘em!
Thank goodness for Chuck Rossi who had a spare hive and a few extra hours this weekend. He and his wife swooped in and grabbed the swarm. Only keeping bees for three months and they’re already pros! Thanks Chuck, happy beekeeping—I hope the swarm treats you well!
As you’ll recall, on the roof of Abbot’s Cellar we recently had a swarm on our hands. Our response has been two pronged— 1) decide what has caused the swarm 2) capture the swarm. We tackled the easy one first, check for mites and see if that might be the cause of a swarm (fingers crossed this wasn’t the case).
Our test for mites was a quick dusting of powdered sugar, let the ladies clean themselves off and see if any mites or any other baddies fall to the bottom of the hive. On our next visit we’ll check the bottom board and see if anything shakes out. Literally. And now for capturing the swarm!
The crew at Abbot’s Cellar are super pro and knocked out the harvest in no time flat. The final yield was 43 lbs and they’re working now on reconfiguring the hive to allow for more space generally, but specifically adding more room ( a third super) below the queen excluder. We have a hunch that while there was tons of room in the hive, there might not have been enough room for brood! Immediate goal: Get the bees through the rest of the summer in tact. Back to the hives!
Amidst the chaos of the swarm from one of our hives on Abbot’s Cellar, we made the decision to harvest one super from each hive and also add an additional empty super to each. We were clearly running out of room and we want to be sure the ladies have plenty of space to grow into at the height of the summer. Here we go!
PS. Big shout to Benjie for loaning us his honey extractor!
After we received the call we all dashed up to the roof. Within an hour or so the ladies had moved into the perch of a windscreen. We set up a temporary hive box and began the hunt for the queen.
We thought the swarm was simply resting on this windscreen. It turned out they had burrowed into a narrow crevice at the spine of the structure. It runs about 6 ft high and they were mostly about four feet down inside. We did our best to smoke them out but had very little luck. The ladies were thoroughly jammed in the interior of the structure.
Alas, we patiently tryed to coax the queen (and thus swarm) out of their temporary hiding spot and into our sophisticated swarm catching device. Upon checking in last night and this morning, it was clear they weren’t having it—the queen and swarm are still in the spine. We’re having very little success with catching the swarm, and in the meantime are working on adding another super to give more than enough room for the remaining bees in the hive. Any other tips for making sure the remaining hive bees stay where they are would be greatly welcome!