Tuesday, March 3, 2015

All's well in the hives and bearded swarm

This morning was inspection morning for the honey bees.  Both hives were inspected and I'm happy to report that it went very well and was a lot less chaotic than the first inspections.  The smoker worked great (after I made some repairs) and stayed lit the entire inspection.  Kept the bees a lot calmer than last time when I had trouble with the smoker.

The highlight was I was able to find both queens and identified brood and larvae (baby bees).  Only one hive beetle was discovered between both hives although there could have been more.  Bees all looked very healthy and strong so it was a good inspection.   And an absolutely beautiful morning to be doing the inspection. The frames are filling up with nectar and pollen.  I'll probably need add another deep brood box to each hive next inspection.

But the big news for today was the massive swarm that showed up as I was looking out the window this afternoon.  I couldn't believe it.  It wasn't the couple hundred bees that I saw yesterday.  It was more like 10,000 to 20,000 bees.  A giant swarm.  After coming in and flying around in a cloud for awhile they formed up into a beard at the entrance to the swarm trap.  They've been there for about 3 hours and hopefully they'll get all settled inside before dark.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

It was a wonderful experience standing in the middle of the swarm as they flew in.  This is fun.

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