Monday, July 8, 2013

Swarm arrives at trap on beautiful sunny morning

Well, you may have seen my last post , showing a cat guarding my swarm trap.

So about 2 weeks later, this happened one sunny fine beautiful morning.!
Loads of Scout bees for the two days  before, so many i fact that I thought there was already a swarm in the trap, so upon inspection the evening before i realised there was nothing in the trap so i just withdrew and added a little more lemon grass oil to the front of the trap.
This was a very good sized swarm, the best this year. they all have been small so far due to the terrible early spring weather, so thats why we are only seeing some beter sized swarms now.
If you watch all three short videos you will see how quickly they entered the swarm trap.
Incidentially, this one had lemon grass oil inside, but it wasnt that strongly baited and only recently did it have lemon grass on the front (about 2 weeks previously) and no, if its fresh it dosent seem t put them off. ( that questioned worried me)
I was pretty sure a swarm was coming so i was interested to see if there was any other activity at the trap of a fellow beekeepers, some 5oo meters away. There was a couple of bees at the trap, checking it out, but nothing like the 20 or 30 that were around mine, so this time luckily, mine was the mst favoured. I think also that the trap was the best proximity to the nest of bees. Ie it was their prefered distance to swarm to.
Moving the swarm.
So this is the big question, how long after the bees have swarmed, is it still safe to move the bees back to your apiary, if its less than 3 miles away?
Well my thoughts on this are mixed. Personally I think if you move the swarm the minute all the bees are inside and just a few fanning on the front then it will be fine, but in this case, it was less than a mile to my apiary and the bees had been coming and going from this trap for a few days and i felt they had built up a good map in their heads of the positions of their nest (the source of the swarm) and the place they swarmed too.
They arrived fairly early in the morning, and had been checking out the area all afternoon, which in my book, means getting used to their new surroundings so, it was going to have to moved to the three mile or more to ensure they didnt know where they were.
I will bring them back to my apiary after 3 days have passed and that will ensure they have forgot where they are.
Its a big swarm, they emptied the first feeder overnight after moving them and they are already on their second load of sugar. When I bring them back i will put them straight in  to a new  10 framed hive. I also put out another trap in the same place because this was evidently a prime swarm and with the weather due to stay fine for the nexw week or too theres every chance of a cast swarm!
This was a lovely experience, One i may not see again, so i am glad i managed to get some video, even if i nearly broke my leg after shinning up the drain pipe adjacent to the swarm, as my ladder wasnt handy but it was worth it! Hope you liked it.

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