Friday, April 29, 2016

The up's and down's of beekeeping

Earlier in the week I was quite elated with all the new bees that had unexpectedly showed up or were rescued.  It was a lot of work but seemed worthwhile.

I spent a day and a half building, caulking and painting new equipment for the bees.  However when I went to install the new hardware, I was greatly disappointed to find the rescued hive I brought into the apiary had vanished !!!!   Completely absconded.   There was a queen and they were mild mannered beautiful bees so it was a sad moment.

Why?   Well first off, it was stressful for the bees to have their home (a tree) crash down and then when I arrived, a chainsaw was used to get to the hive and the bees.  This made a big mess of sawdust that covered all the brood and a great deal of sawdust was vacuumed into the temporary base which was the bee vac base.  And the brood was pretty covered in dirt and dust.  But that was really the only way to get these bees out of the tree.  A trap out wasn't in the cards because the county needed the hive removed before the weekend as it was close to where people walk.

Also .... the nucs with the new swarms were different.  Only one Nuc had some bees remaining and it didn't look like the swarm that was there the other day.  Who knows what happened there.  Oh well, easy come, easy go.  I don't even try to figure it out any more.  They do what they're going to do.

And one of my other hives was queenless and not doing so well so I borrowed some brood from a stronger hive to build it up.  So many queens seem to unexpectedly disappear.

Today I'll put some bee swarm traps out at The Florida Bee Farm and try to re-capture some of these bees.  Maybe we'll get some of them back.

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