First Swarm of the Season!

Got a call from a friend today telling me about a swarm of bees that I could have if I could go get them.  This is the first one I’ve had a chance to pick up this year, so thought it was worth snapping a couple of pictures and telling the story.

Bees typically swarm in mid – late Spring as a means of reproduction.  A swarm is usually accompanied by the mother queen and about half the rest of the bees.  A new queen cell is left behind to emerge, mate and keep the original hive going.  Usually there are multiple queen cells but in the end only one queen will survive.  The swarm then sets out to find a home.  While they are looking for a home (hollow tree, hole in an old wall, etc) they will usually gather on a nearby branch for a day or two.  If you’re lucky enough to find out about a swarm at this point it’s as easy as shaking the branch over a hive or bucket and the swarm is yours.

That’s exactly what I did today.  In about 15 minutes I had the swarm loading in my bucket and headed back to my house to put in a small hive.  It’s always fun and slightly unpredictable when you go to catch a swarm, but this one turned out lust like you’d want it to.  Hopefully it’s early enough in the year they can expand and actually produce some surplus honey as well!

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