Friday, July 24, 2009

A Summer Swarm

Every summer I worry about my bees swarming. This occurs when the hive becomes congested with too many bees, no room for the queen to lay eggs, over heating, or a multitude of other reasons. This year I ordered a "nuc" which is sort of a mini hive that is used to catch swarms or to do a split with a hive that is growing too big so the beekeeper "splits" it into two hives.

So a couple of weeks ago I set up the nuc in my garden area. It's located about 75 feet away from the main hives. It's usually recommended that a nuc or swarm trap be set-up close to existing hives if you want to catch a swarm from bees outside the area & away from existing hives if you want to catch bees that may be from your own hives. It seems that if bees are going to swarm they will not set-up a new home close to the original hive but will travel a short distance (usually 75 to 100 feet) away to find a new home.

Then I forgot about it.

Until today when I was checking the progress of my raspberries. Wowie-zowie! There were bees all over the nuc! The picture above doesn't really do justice to the buzz of activity around the entrance to the nuc. There was a cloud of bees!

Very exciting & satisfying. I'm hoping one of my existing hives didn't swarm but if they did I'm glad they found a new home in the neighborhood. Welcome home!

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