Sunday, April 29, 2012

New swarm

Today I was called out to Charleston for a swarm capture.  It turned out to a large one but no pictures due to dead battery in the camera.  I clip away the dead branches then shook them into my bag.  They weighed around 4 lbs so when they hit the bottom, I almost dropped them.  I was precariously standing atop my 6 foot ladder at the time.  They began to cluster in the tree again so I shook  those into the bag also.  After a little while they began to settle down and enter the catch bag so I closed it up and put it in the back of the PU.  Many hundreds of bees hanging to the outside of the bag.  When I got home I prepared the TBH ( Top Bar Hive) and shook them into it.  That I have on film, watch.
The swarm I got yesterday seems puny compared to the 30,000 plus I got today.  Don't think I had that many all last year.

I found a planter at Costco today that I'm going to make into a Skep.  The next swarm is going into it.  Placed it by the house for English garden look.  What a trip it is to work with so many bees.


Monday, April 23, 2012

New Hive completed

Got called out for my first bee problem of the year, unfortunately they had made commitments with a pest control person and the nieghbor wasn't to happy about competition.  Second callout for a bee colony living in a tree.  Set up trap on the 22nd of April.  Bad Nor-Easter came through and those foraging bees that didn't get into the trap died from the storm, but most were in the trap.  Fed them today as the trap only had a small comb with little honey.  Removed the dead bees from the funnel.  Hope to lure the queen out in a couple of weeks, if not I'll buy a new one and seal the opening shut in the tree.

Finished another octagon hive (photo attached) based on the Stewarton hive from Scotland, with a few adaptations. Has pitched roof, insulation blanket, 2 brood boxes and an additional super (not shown yet), and screened bottom board.  Looks quiet smart in the back yard.  That gives me three octagon and one top bar hive ready for the swarm season.   Plan to sell hive, including a colony of bees as soon as I collect a swarm, (in the NYC area only).  Hives alone could be shipped anywhere, I guess.  My new bee's will be picked up on May 10 from upstate, can"t wait.