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Keeping Us Buzzing

This spring our three Warre hives have produced six, yes SIX, swarms. We've captured four of them including this one on the side of the blue hive. Normally, when a cluster of bees is on the outside of a hive it is called bearding. It's their way of keeping cool but this day was not warm and since we had been watching them closely, we knew it was a group from the purple hive. It was strange that they landed there. Regardless, we captured this swarm and have it in a temporary hive.


It's really hard to find hives to purchase in the spring because of the demand. I have new ones coming but they are not here yet. So I learned one more newby beekeeper lesson ~ you never have enough hives so, bee prepared early and order them in the winter!


We also put out this swarm trap with lemongrass oil in it to lure bees. We had a group come and go and now we have another swarm inside it. This is also a temporary home for this group.



When swarms leave the hive with their queen, they find a resting place to get organized. This can last 30 minutes or 3 days. Scout bees are sent out to search for a new home and then they decide which one to choose and are soon on the move. 

Our pecan trees are a favorite place for swarms to stay while their scout bees look for a new home. See how we captured one last year here. The one below stayed here for two days before a friend gave us an empty hive to rehome it. 


This spring two of the swarms flew away to make homes in the wild. If you look closely in the photo below you can see the tiny dots in the sky ~ thousands of bees happily on their way. It's hard to watch them go. It makes me sad, a little like Wilbur in Charlotte's Web when he watches the baby spiders fly away. Yet at the same time, we feel good about helping the bees repopulate. It's one of the reasons we keep bees.


Even after all of these swarms more bees are being born. This baby bee is just emerging from her cell. With four new hives, the bees are definitly keeping us buzzing!


Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Comments

  1. It must be amazing to watch. Bees are so wondrous. I love their organization!

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  2. I can't get past my fear of bees, so it's really hard for me to imagine collecting them on purpose. I'm sure they are fascinating to watch and study.

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  3. We would love to add bee's to our little farm. I've learned a lot about bee's on this post today, thank you for sharing. I love your new blog look!

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