Thursday, April 9, 2009

Expanding the Operation

The end of the last post mentioned two more swarms I had to collect. CJ called the office looking for me while I was in a department meeting, she was headed out to catch them herself because my department meetings usually last longer than most of my marathon times, but I digress. Several months ago, some friends of ours bought a house that came complete with a resident bee colony. I am not big on cutting colonies out of houses, especially colonies between the second floor and the attic, so I told them to watch the colony and let me know when it swarmed and I would do my best to get the swarm. The established colony is going to have to remain feral. So today it swarmed, at the same time my Langstroth hive cast yet another swarm. The swarm at my house was about ten feet up on a small sapling. Retrieving this swarm was far easier than collecting them from off the fences. Just watch...

Of course, it's never that easy. I didn't have a hive to put the swarm in. CJ had loaded the extra hive into the car to take over to the new bee yard (our friends' back yard.) I had to build a new hive from leftover lumber, so I took a 2' by 4' piece of plywood and made a 1/2 size top bar hive. I have been wanting to do this to use them for splits and nucs in the future. I was able to build this new, smaller hive and paint it in just over an hour.
When the paint was dry, I painted the inside with sugar syrup to encourage the swarm to stay in their new home. So far, it seems to have worked.
The real reason for this post is to introduce my new beekeeping companion. CJ led the charge on the swarm retrieval from our friends' house.

Yes, that is CJ in the bee suit, wielding the bee vac and catching a swarm! I'm quite proud of her. She says she earned dinner out tonight and the right to be added as a team member on the blog. She got dinner out, and I'll most likely make her a team member here very soon.
The final bit of information, GP came and took away the Langstroth hive and the swarm we caught this morning, thus reducing the number of hives in my bee yard to four. There will be no more swarms to come home to, so I may now actually be able to get back to my real work.

1 comment:

vfg said...

Holy cow.
Yellow and black striped cow.