Friday, 25 June 2010

A Swarm in June

" A swarm in May, a load of hay. A swarm in June, a silver spoon." - old proverb

The new colony Hv2 swarmed today. It was quite unexpected. One minute I was busy baking some bread the next thing I know my garden was once again filled with that loud humming sound. I saw a large cluster hanging from my buddleia bush. By the time I called round at my bee friends, Mike and Jenny, and returned with the borrowed nuc box, the swarm had gone from my back garden. I am very cross with myself. I can only take comfort from the fact that there is a swarm of my bees in the wild - free. I hope it is not caught.

I did a quick check of Hv2 and confirmed that it is indeed the source of the swarm: no eggs, no grubs, plenty of honey and some sealed brood cells. The last swarm in May had taught me the signs to look for. I found a number of queen cells and removed all but one (photo). This will be the new queen for the colony. I took time to make sure there is indeed no queen in the hive, so I just have to wait once more for the arrival of a new queen. What puzzles me is that the hive is far from being crowded - there are at least 4 frames that were not fully drawn. I shall have to speak with someone about this.

The good news is that the long awaited surplus honey is happening. In both hives there are clear sign of combs full of honey in the super. This evening I am going to pick up two more new super boxes and frames. I think things may be alright after all.

1 comment:

  1. Your bees are certainly keeping you guessing!

    I recently started keeping bees in Northern California, and have been enjoying reading beekeepers' blogs.