Bob's beekeeping adventures #7
June 4.....opened up the hives to check things out and found 2 false queen cells in the box above the deeps. Scraped them off but I failed to open the bottom deeps. I added queen excluders and honey supers because things were filling up in one hive rather quickly. I thought that I might be able to do a split, but didn't. The other hive is a little slower but productive.
June 19th.....I was mowing the yard considering getting back into the hives when I noticed thousands of bees flying everywhere. SWARM!! The first words out of my mouth were "Oh s#*t!". I called Bob Stephan who said he had an old nuc box that I could borrow to try to capture my bees. He lives just down the street from me. From the time I went to get the box till I got back (about 5 min) the bees had disappeared! Betcha can guess what I said next, lol.
I started to look around at the low hanging branches hoping this would be easy peasy. So as I scanned the tree line seeing absolutely nothing, my eyes moved upward, and upward, and upward, until I was gazing 45-50 feet in the top of a walnut tree (insert more swear words here). Well, I had to go open the winery so I could only hope they would "hang around" till I returned. This was around 1:00p. As soon as my winery help arrived I dashed outta there and back home. They were gone. Forever. And ever.
I will admit that the entire event was an amazing thing. To actually witness nature at it's finest was quite an experience. I learned a few things from this experience:
1. Follow your gut feeling if you think something should be done (splitting, adding more space, getting all the way into the hive, etc)
2. Continue to learn from others and don't wait till the last minute to make decisions.
3. Be prepared by keeping extra equipment on hand
4. Swearing out loud doesn't help....the bees don't care
June 21....I opened both hives entirely. The one that didn't swarm was ok.... plenty of room and no signs of swarming. The other had about a dozen queen cells. I removed all but 3. There was plenty of brood and larvae. I plan to reopen this one in a few days to swap some frames and make sure there is plenty of room. Maybe after the queen leaves for mating so she'll have plenty of space when she returns.
June 22.....I took a walk through the woods where I knew there was some old trees. Listening and looking, I was hoping I just might locate a half colony somewhere. Until next time...………..