Thursday, June 21, 2012


I got the call while I was at the mall…"Your bees are swarming!” My neighbor heard the buzzing and looked out just in time to watch my bees leave their hive in a massive swirling cloud of bees, take to the air and settle about 45 feet up in a tree on the far side of her property. They exited with such force that they knocked their feeder clean off the hive!!! The only good part of a swarm and we missed it!  I’m going to confess that I seriously thought I was going to cry. I made my son drive home, FAST! Not there was any point to hurrying, there was absolutely nothing I could do.

bee swarm - The Backyard Farmwife I wish my son had taken a wider shot so you could see how very high up they are!

bee swarm - The Backyard Farmwife this smaller group joined up with the rest of the swarm shortly after we took this pic

bee swarm - The Backyard Farmwife

That’s a big blob of bees clustered around their queen!!!

They were right, bees don’t go far but they did go out of reach. No way to retrieve them or put them into another box. With the drastic change in weather predicted for tomorrow (57 and rain), we know they won’t stay in the tree for long. Soon they will move on and look for a new home…

Friends came to my rescue and brought an extra honey super with some old comb frames from last year, poured some honey in various places and set it under the swarm. Now we just pray that in their frantic search for a new place to settle in, they’ll choose this nice box right there. Word on the street is that the chances of them doing that are about a million to one!

bee swarm - The Backyard Farmwifebee swarm - The Backyard Farmwife Why wouldn’t they want to make their home in such a nice place???

The real problem is that just this morning I cleared out a couple more queen cells and likely killed my remaining colony’s replacement! AHHHHH!!!!!

After seeing how many bees were in the tree I lost all hope that there were any at all left in my hive. Much to my surprise there are quite a few more than I expected! I needed some good news today!

The other good news? Bee club was tonight! I was told I didn’t do anything wrong. In fact my favorite bee expert, Roy, told me I did everything right. He believes the problem is with the shipment of bees I got. Probably a problem with the queen supplier. In fact, a couple of people who also got bees from the same guy at the same time also had swarming problems or worse! A couple of people actually had most of their colony (including their queen) die at the end of May!

Now on to the next part of my ongoing saga… I really hope it ends soon but I am beginning to think that beekeeping is a never-ending one! ;o)

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