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New Bee Colonies on the Farm

I noticed two of my swarm traps with activity about a week ago. I waited to be sure that the bees were not just checking things out or looking to rob some of the old comb in the traps. Yesterday evening, after being sure there were lots of bees living in the traps, a friend and I went to collect them and move them to the location of the actual hive boxes they will be living in. Here are a couple of short videos of the traps.

This one was really heavy and it was the first one we saw with bees. I am hoping it is not a mess of wild comb that will have to be cut out and put on frames. But, even if it is, I will be happy to get this into a hive box.

This next one was not quite as heavy but when you are lifting a box off of the tree with what sounds like thousands of angry bees in it, it seems pretty full! The little piece of wood above the entry hole is on a screw that allows it to be turned and to close up the trap for transport.

You can see the swarm traps sitting right next to the empty hives in the middle and on the right. Early this morning (5 am when still dark) I went up to the hives and placed leafy branches in front of the openings so the bees would need to reorient to this new location. There still may be some that go back to the original site in the tree. I hope not many.

You can see the opening through the branches. The bees are just checking it out so far but as the day warms up they will be out foraging.

So much fun (especially since no one got stung...yet). I will keep you posted when we take the bees from the traps and put them in the hives.

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