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Cobrac
05-31-2019, 02:44 PM
As always in the pre-season there are a huge expansion in biomass in the hives. This year many farmers has grown oilseeds and the bees are increasing their numbers to collect as much as possible. I believe I have around 60-70k bees in my hives now. And this has generated a few bee swarms. The positive thing is that I have collected them all so I went from 7 hives to 10 in a few days. The backdraw is that the bees eat a lot of honey before they take off, and I canít be sure if there are more new queens left in my swarming hives that will fly away with more bees. Anyhow hereís todayís catch! And they landed on the ground, lucky me!

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190531/6433080d14497ad773b6ae78865a84c8.jpg

EricHartman
05-31-2019, 08:16 PM
that's awesome! How does one catch a swarm? Do you just put the hive in front of them and hope? Grab the queen and place her inside? Sacrifice a goat?

Cobrac
06-01-2019, 01:57 AM
that's awesome! How does one catch a swarm? Do you just put the hive in front of them and hope? Grab the queen and place her inside? Sacrifice a goat?

As you first describe, I put a hive (with frames in it) in front of it and grab a handful of bees and lay onto the entrance. I have prepared the inside with small honey bait. They actually just walking straight into it most of the times, you got to remember that they are looking for a new home. So when I place a complete new home in front of them, well, itís like been given a new house! However, its kind of a hurry to do this, especially if itís early on the day. The swarm almost always land on a first spot near the original hive, and whilst they sit there they have scout bees looking for a better place all around. And as soon someone ďcalls inĒ a better spot the whole swarm just moving. But if the day has passed they most likely sit where they are until next day. Bees that swarm isnít defending a home since they havenít found it yet, so they actually is very kind and easy to handle. They have been eating a lot of honey before they leave, and that means that they wonít sting you unless there is a direct threat against the super organism (the whole swarm, like punching straight into it or similar).

Occasionally I sacrifice a couple of albino goats and dance in circles simultaneously as a scream out loud in agony until they return. Very rare, though. :)

EricHartman
06-02-2019, 10:16 AM
This is pretty awesome! Thanks for sharing! The fact that bees swarm at all is fairly new to me. Is this generally a yearly activity or only after a "bumper year" type of where it starts getting crowded and its time to kick the kids out? If its yearly that is a hobby that could get out of control pretty darn fast!

I knew there had to be a goat involved sometimes!!! :)

Cobrac
06-02-2019, 11:32 AM
Its their natural way of spreading their specimen. One can prevent it from happening by give them more space to live in. The tricky part is to time it when there are a lot of flowers and other sources of nectar collection otherwise they wonít be working at full effect due to a too overwhelming space to fill with bees and honey they almost get ďdepressedĒ if you give too much space. Itís a timing thing, the queen lay broods depending on how much bloom there is. She can lay up to 2000 eggs per day if they have much flowers. This year when there are huge fields of oilseeds that bloom simultaneously with all other early flowers like cherries and apple trees it is almost impossible to catch up with the enormous biomass extension. And when they are in huge numbers they simply wonít fit into the hive and then the old queen lays new queen broods to split up the hive into a new society that moves to a new location.

Must have goats, canít have bee farms without sacrificing goats. :)

Shelley
06-03-2019, 06:16 AM
Nice catch! I love watching bees march into the hive like this.

Cobrac
06-03-2019, 09:19 AM
Thanks, this number four so far! I canít understand why they swarm so much this year and nothing all other years, though..,