Saturday, April 16, 2011

Swarms and Supers

A very bee-zy day today, starting early by taking a look at a swarm that I was called on the night before in Moorpark. the Fire Dept said a swarm was hanging out next to a Walgreen's, and they taped the area off. I decided to swing by early in the morning to see if I could get them before my day got started, but the sun had already hit them and they were too active... not to mention, there was no way to get them into a box, as you can see:

They were literally wrapped around the trunk of this immature little tree, so I wouldn't be able to sweep them all at once or shake them into a box.

I figured I could come back in the late afternoon and vacuum them. In the meantime, I spent the morning supering 8 out of my 10 hives, because the sage flow has started, the hollyleaf cherry is starting to bloom, and the hive populations are VERY high.

In fact, they're so highly populated that one of them swarmed right before my eyes, and headed into an inextricable location high in a scrub oak on a slope. To make it even more challenging, they mimicked the Moorpark swarm, clinging to a thick bough instead of hanging cooperatively where I could shake them into a box.

Interestingly, this swarm didn't stick around for more than a few hours. I checked later in the day as I was brush clearing, and they were already gone. I put a phone call in to the Walgreen's, and that swarm had taken off as well. So... no free bees today.

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