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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Crazy

I know I haven't posted in a while. This is because my bees are driving me crazy! Don't get me wrong, I love my girls dearly but they don't seem to have the same opinion. Last week they swarmed, (a large number of honeybees that leave a hive en masse with a newly fertilized queen in order to establish a new colony).
My brother was playing outside when he came rushing in babbling about how loud the hive was. So I went to check it out and it didn't worry me at first because it happened before but it was just baby bees (when bees are born they take an orientation flight to go to the bathroom and other stuff, sometimes many bees will be born at once which looks like a swarm). However I noticed them settling in this one area of the lawn, so I put on my gear and went to investigate. What I saw was this: my queen crawling around on the ground with bees gathering around her. Of course I started to freak out. I captured the queen and put her back in the hive. I then called a well-versed bee keeper who talked me through the Demaree method. Where the old queen is put in a honey super and trapped there with a queen excluder. The remaining hive box sans queen is inspected for queen cells. All queen cells are destroyed. So I did this sustaining three stings to the leg and my brother (my freaked out helper) one to the hand. I then checked on them yesterday to remove the queen excluder and removed the swarm cells. However I didn't see any fresh brood which is a sign of no queen. Frustrating right? So I'm currently talking to that experienced bee keeper again, updates to follow. Right now I'm just trying to remind myself "this is a learning experience" and everything will be okay. 
More info on swarming: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarming_(honey_bee)
Video of hive swarming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKlh96XWCZo&feature=related

6 comments:

  1. So the queen bee you originally had is still in your hive right?
    Also, the dot on the queen bee is that naturally occurring? How practical if yes!

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  2. Wow-sounds like a good movie premise-BEES TAKE OVER THE WORLD.
    Smiling at your reference to your bro'. Thankfully he has good hearing.

    Will this happen often? Love Nana

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  3. @Katrin, yeah she's still in the hive as far as I know... and no the dot is painted on her.

    @ Nana, it's not supposed to but we'll see.

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  4. Do the bees do anything different to prepare for the colder weather? Love Nana

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  5. Hayley,
    I just found your blog by chance and had to stop, read and say hello. What a coincidence, I have a daughter named Hayley who is also 15 and I have kind of nudged her into beekeeping this year. We actually have jumped right in full force and do hive and swarm removal and relocations. It's so great to see you young women beekeepers going for it, it certainly gives me huge amounts of hope for the future! Keep it up and keep sharing!
    Cheers,
    DJ in ATX

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  6. That's awesome to hear! If you or your daughter ever have any questions or want to share stories feel free! Good luck and happy bee keeping!

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