Update to yesterdays apairy visit .
We called into the apairy to see how the swarm trap we noticed yesterday was doing and if we could get the girls into a nuc .
Lo and behold as we walked into the apairy Declan noticed a second swarm on the ground under one of the apple tree's .
Another Prime swarm .
We covered it with a improvised skep ( the basket in the photo ) to let the girls get some cover and to help capture them so we could transfer them into another nuc .
Off we went and left them to their own devices and had a look around the rest of the apairy .
We spotted a cast swarm ( much smaller ) and quickly found the Queen bee and caught her in a Queen cage - and inserted her into a apidea ( baby bee hive ) leaving the floor open so her few followers could attend her.
Off we went to see the original swarm we had called to inspect - it was still in one of our swarm traps . Delighted !! So we set about to transfer that swarm to a polly nuc .
We were amazed at how much comb the girls had drawn in the swarm trap .
It was wonderful to see that the girls were happy - a lot of nectar had being foraged and they were also bringing in pollen ( the darker spots in the honeycomb in the photo above )
Back to the cast swarm
With the girls from the first prime swam transferred into a better home , we turned our attention to the cast swarm .
This was much smaller , only about 200 bees and a Queen in a Queen cage . By this time most of the bee's of this cast had settled in and around the apidea.
Taking the Queen cage out of the apidea we placed her on the top of a brood box that we knew had no queen in a beehive . Wondering would she be accepted or balled .
If the bees in the colony that had no queen accepted this new queen she could turn it around to a sucessful colony quite quickly - we had quite a lot of bees in the colony we are adding her to - they just had to know she was coming and accept her. So we left her trapped in the Queen cage for about 10 minutes , waiting to confirm that the colony was queenless and her pheromones got through the hive.
The result was success -it looked like the colony accepted her when we released the Queen from the Queen cage - she was not "Balled" and after a minute and a puff of smoke from the smoker , she dispersed down the frame's and into the colony
Back to the second prime swarm
Now we turned our attention back to the second prime swarm , where we had prepared a nuc with 6 frames and brought it over to where the improvised skep was still covering the swarm .
Lifting the skep with about 80% of the bees we shook them into the nuc - added the balance of the frames and put the lid on it . We placed the nuc on the ground where the skep had being and left the door open for the girls who had not taken refuge under the skep to walk in . By this stage it was getting late in the day and we decided to let nature take its course , hoping that the rest of bees outside of the nuc would be signaled by the swarm that a new home has being found and follow the main body of the swarm into the nuc . Time will tell as we plan to call back to the apairy later today and move both polly nucs to a second apairy location and let them get on with being bee's .
Some of my stories and ramblings
Beekeeping as a Hobby - find out more here