Sunday, April 25, 2010

Part 1: The bees surprised me today


Sold a couple of weiner pigs today, and a bred sow, and was doing the rest of my daily routine when I noticed a commotion over by the beehives. 

Click on the picture for a bigger version.  If you look closely, you can see thousands of bees flying in a big circle around this beehive.  They're indicating that they are going to swarm, and they're flying around looking for the scent of the queen bee to follow her. 
In every direction around the hive there are thousands of bees.  They're not angry, but they're also not working.  This is a major disruption of hive life.  The bees have decided that conditions are right for the hive to split. 
I watch this for a while, to see what they are going to do.  I notice that they're flying closer to the hive, and starting to land on it.  The queen has decided that it's not quite time to go, maybe. 
Then I notice some of them collecting on a fence post, and think maybe the queen has landed there.  I continue to watch; we're about 45 minutes into this activity. 
At this point they're clearly coming back to the hive; so this is a rehearsal of a swarm.  It's pretty amazing how many bees there are in a typical hive. 
More and more bees are coming back.  They aren't in any hurry to go back to work, congregating on the outside of the hive. 
At this point I'm pretty clear that the queen has re-entered the hive and that it won't swarm today; but that it WILL swarm tommorow unless I do something about it. 
What to do. 

1 comment:

Eric said...

If you have another empty hive this would be a REALLY good time to set it up to capture the swarm. I'd say it's an indication that your bees have been doing very well and should have been divided sooner. Good luck with it.