04 June 2011
One of the worst things that can happen to your hive is to let it swarm. In this season of weird weather, it has been difficult. After months of rain, the temperature shot up to 94F. Like everyone else, the bees were hot... too hot. Usually, my bees don't produce gatherable honey until the end of the season. When I checked them recently, there was a lot of honey and not a lot of room. I ordered new frames, but they were delayed and before I could add another super... the heat won.
While it was a sad thing to see the hive swarm, it was a fascinating event to watch. The bees are so focused. they plan their escape. The workers fill up on honey so there is no stopping at the 7-11. They escort the queen to a remote location and then the whole gang follow, in military precision. There is a huge mass of buzzing life during their travel and before you know it, they are settled and congregated around the queen.
While the event looks scary, the bees focus and determination, as well as their full tummies, make them quite calm during the swarm.
Today, the new frames arrived. We will try to recover before the summer ends.