I caught my first honeybee swarm yesterday!
I was really glad I’d gotten off the kiln-loading shift at the woodfiring I was doing on Saturday, because when I got home Josh excitedly told me that my bees had swarmed! He was able to show me right where they were. I quick enlisted a friend to put together some sugar-water spray while I shrugged on my bee suit and Josh put together the camera.
After lots of sugar water and brush cutting, I managed to get the bulk of bees into a box. They’re super docile when swarming, so I wasn’t too nervous.
Also I’ve been subscribing to the Backwards Beekeepers‘ blog and they post videos on swarm catching, so I some idea of what to do. Thanks Backwards Beekeepers – there’s no way I would have been prepared without your help!
I let the box sit for a few minutes to see if I had gotten the queen inside. Gradually most of the bees moved inside, so I thought I had the queen.
I made this video about the whole process if you want more information and some horrifying footage of buzzing bowling-ball-size clumps of beeeeeezzzzz!
I tumbled them into the Darjeeling hive that had been waiting for the colony arriving on May 14th. I’m so glad I had something ready.
Now I have two hives instead of one – it’s like my farm’s livestock has had its first baby.
This gardening year’s starting out on a good note!