Sunday, April 17, 2016

Another Bee Swarm

Two weeks ago, I had my first experience with catching a swarm
So we had Hive 1 (the original) and Hive 2 (the caught swarm). We were excited that our colony collection had doubled. Yay! 

Then, 2 weeks later (to the day) Hive 1 swarmed (seriously?!). Apparently the new, virgin queen is rebellious because she promptly left home after she hatched with all her besties to go on a road trip. 

Anna and I had just finished getting the shade cloth on the hoop house to protect the tender greens from the blazing sun that was going to make an appearance over the weekend, and I was getting things watered in and Anna got a text from the kitchen asking for more mustard greens stat. Friday afternoons in a kitchen with big events scheduled for the weekend needs a lot of produce, and they needed more than we had brought in earlier that morning. She headed off to fetch them their produce when she popped her head back in the greenhouse asking me for my opinion on the bees.  

We walked up to Hive 1, and sure enough they were pouring out of every nook and cranny of the hive and circling around. Deja vu anyone? Granted, the swarm was significantly smaller this time because the previous swarm had taken over half of Hive 1 with them.  
This time, Anna watched the bees to see where they went while I quickly harvested mustard greens and ran them into the kitchen. On my way back, it must have been apparent that I was in a hurry because it felt like everyone wanted to talk (since when did anyone want to talk to me?) Once back in the garden, Anna had already pulled together the equipment, suited up, and had the swarm in the blue bin. All my rushing for naught. 
This time, the sillies alighted on a branch just out of reach. Thankfully they weren't 40 feet up in the Doug firs, just a ladder's height in a wild fruit tree. ;) 

Welcome to your new home! :dump:
With how flighty this new queen is, we're going to commit regicide (gasp!) and bring in a new queen once one is available. Bee colony politics are certainly something else. 
Now we have Hive 1, Hive 2, and Hive 3. 
Little did I realize how much I'd be working with bees when I got the job. :P 

Until next time! 
And hopefully it won't be about catching :another: swarm. 
Sarah G

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