Monday, February 21, 2011

First Swarm of 2011--- Early and Weird!

Had President's Day off from work, and a good thing--- because lo and behold, I got my first swarm call of the year! Very early, and in the midst of a cold, rainy spate of weather. We get a clear day and this hive was pouring out of a hole in the ground (next to one of those water company meter/access compartments; I suspect they were tired of being wet with all this rain) and attaching to... well, take a look:

I decided the best way to handle this swarm would be to vacuum them with my homemade bee-vac,

but for some reason I wasn't able to get enough suction with it. No idea why, it worked fine last time I used it. At any rate, I ended up sticking a small box down by the tire (fortunately I'd stopped to buy a box just in case) and swept the mass down into the box.

The challenge, as always, was to get the box closed up before too many could escape.

Now, here's what I don't know. I don't know if this group had a queen, because there wasn't the customary ball that most swarms form around their queen. I'm concerned the hive was in the midst of absconding, and the queen hadn't left yet... but time will tell. Here's what was left on the car once I did my sweep...

I put the captured swarm in a deep hive body with ten new frames/foundation, and placed an entrance reducer in front so they can more easily defend their new turf (if they decide to stay, and IF they have a queen).

We'll see...