Collecting Swarms

I had 2 swarm calls on the same day this week – I guess as the weather had turned nice the bees decided to take off. Both of them were within 600m of each other so I thought that there were likely castes from the same colony. How wrong; both full size swarms – one with amber coloured bees and the other very dark. The first one was very easy to get to – only about 1.6m off the ground in a small conifer. Shook them into a cardboard box and dumped them into my nuc box, which was on the ground. Within 5 minutes the remaining bees found the entrance and were using it. A bit of a panic with the second swarm as I didn’t have a box ready, but made up some frames and went off to collect the second swarm a few hours later. It was in the grounds of Woodlands Park Hotel near my River Mole apiary site. Again very easy to get to, about 2m off the ground in a small tree. Repeated the process of shaking the bees into a cardboard box and tipped into the hive. Came back in the evening and collected both and fed them when I put them onto stands in my home apiary.

Next day bees were flying from both and within a day were bring back pollen.

Decided to inspect today which is 4 days after collecting them. The first swarm had drawn 3 of the 4 frames in the nuc and there were eggs in 2 of the frames and a nice looking queen. Quite a bit of pollen had been collected. The second swarm had drawn 5 of the 6 frames in the full size box and I spotted the queen. It looked as though she had been out on a mating flight as there was the orange coloured remains of the “mating sign”. This is the first time I have seen this and wished I had my camera with me. Anyway no eggs yet but beautifully amber coloured bees.