Another Swarm…and Nonsense

Dunno what these little ones are up to. One of the hives that swarmed a couple of weeks ago swarmed again. But this time in a neighbor’s yard. I tried to catch it myself and it looked like I’d done it…but the box was pretty small…and maybe I missed the queen? Don’t know.

So…couple hours later, with Blake the Beekeeper at the helm and Carol the neighbor suited up, too, I think we got it done right. Maybe. Will look in the morning. Long afternoon wrangling bees…poorly.

The first attempt was only about 12 feet in the air. Was tricky. The next was maybe 25 feet up. Was sketchy. Fruit ladder, pole saw, etc.

Today’s shot is of one of the swarmergirls – before the first capture attempt. Have not had a chance to look at the pics of the swarm proper, but I don’t think any will be worth posting. The sun was very bright at midday…and the swarm was half in shadows and half in sunlight – so it’s alternatively too dark and too light. Anyway…enjoy this pretty one.

Update: Just checked the bigger box at about 7:00 a.m. Looks like the capture took. Another new hive. No idea why they’re swarming so much, though. That’s the second one out of that hive in the last couple of weeks.

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Swarm Afterparty

The site of the first swarm, the cedar tree, had a mini-swarm yesterday. Was about the size of a softball and pretty active. Apparently, there were pheromones from the queen left on the branch and someone spread the news. Jody the Beekeeper came and boxed up those little ones and dumped them in with the queen of that swarm.

She also looked in the hive of the third swarm and reported that it’s thriving – and even has a good number of eggs already. So gratified – means I didn’t screw up that capture.

In today’s pic, there are a few staging on branch just above the main concentration. After the bees were gone, I washed off the branch in order to remove the pheromones – and future confusion (hopefully).

Seems Spring is finally here for good – with summer close on its heels. What a great time of year!

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BeeS of the Day – First Swarm

Here’s a shot of the first of the three swarms. They weren’t quite done and it got a bit bigger. The pole-looking thing on the left is a shovel I used to prop up the branch of the cedar tree that they were on. It had bent down about two feet and was in danger of touching the ground.

We put the new box right under the branch and Jody the Beekeeper gave it some good shakes – and presto! Most, including the queen, ended up in the new hive. Such a neat thing.

No idea on the numbers, but I was impressed at how heavy the mass was – how much the branch of that tree had been pulled down. Amazing thing to see.

Oh, and I’ll make a formal post about this later – but if you’d like some honey from these hives – from the bees you see on this site – that can be arranged. There’s plenty to go around and you can get it in pints or quarts. Tasty stuff. And you’ve see the makers every day on this site.

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Yet Another from the Swarm

This one is on a corrugated metal roof that was just below the third (and first, I guess – those swarms chose the same bush/tree) swarm. Seems that lots of bees staged on that roof (and the shed that it covers) before they joined the mass with the queen. The shadow just up and right of her head was made by a couple of her sisters in flight.

The crop is kind of unconventional (both for this site and generally), but I like the composition. And the detail on her is very good. Looking at her, isolated like that for the moment that she was, kind of makes me wonder what was going on in her bee mind.

Kind of an aside, but I generally feel like I can understand mammals to an extent – even fish and reptiles’ behavior seems like something I can get my head around. But the hive-ey creatures – bees, ants, termites, etc., – the colonies… No matter how much I read and learn and observe, I keep thinking that somehow I’m still separated from a real, resonant understanding. I’ll keep at it, but I’m not there yet. Hoping for some sequential epiphanies. So interesting to me.

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Another from the Third Swarm

This one (these three?) is on my shirtsleeve. Apart from being a good profile shot, I think it illustrates that thin slice of depth of focus very well. While I wouldn’t call it art, the composition is interesting to me, too.

The last of the newly-created hives got picked up last night and will be re-homed soon. Just fascinating to me. And I feel really fortunate to have been able to witness and participate in the swarms – and the creation of three new hives.

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