Monday, August 1, 2011

July Swarm

Small swarm 29th July 2011.

I was called to collect a small swarm which had moved into a compost bin two days earlier. Once I'd removed the front cover I spotted the queen in the middle of the comb laying an egg, so I decided to wait until she had finished before shaking her into the nuc. I almost made the mistake of shaking the bees off the panel with the comb upside down. 
This year I haven't used my smoker much but I had to use a fair amount to drive them out of the bin as I didn't want to move it in case the top two thirds which was full with old grass cuttings collapsed down. All in all it was very simple to collect most of the colony by brushing them on to a frame and dumping them over the nuc once enough of them were fanning attracting the fliers and I covered the bin entrance with the frame which stopped them from flying straight back inside the bin again. 

I returned at 9pm and found they had all left the bin and were happily clustered in the nuc covering 2.5 frames, so I strapped them up and waited another 10 mins just to be sure I had them all before moving them to my apiary.