We have been very vigilant over the last few years to make sure that our bees have been unable to swarm.
However we (I) made a few amateur mistakes this year. The main one was that I left more than one queen cell in the bee hive which means that when the first queen hatches she can swarm with some of the bees. This is called a “cast swarm”.
Fortunately we spotted that the bees were swarming and were able to hunt them down and catch them.
This was was the first time we have caught a swarm so messed it up a bit but got lucky and the bees liked the new home we moved them into and are happy there.
We we will move them into a full sized hive soon which was bought for us generously by Mr McMullan snr who is our main beekeeping mentor.
Enjoy the video and remember if you see a swarm of bees call Mr McMullan and he will come hunt them down!
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We performed a check on the bee hives today and we have some interesting news.
One of the hives is doing so well that we need to stop it from swarming.
Swarming is the natural way that bees reproduce. The queen leaves with half of the bees to set up a new hive and the other half stay behind and grow a new queen.
We don’t want this to happen because then we would lose all of workers who make all the honey!
We are going to perform an artificial swarm which is where we remove the queen from the hive and put her in a new hive with a few of the bees to look after her. She will then start to lay eggs and build up a new hive. The old hive will notice she has left within 15 minutes because they can no longer smell the queen. They will then start to create new queens. We will choose the biggest and strongest queen in the new hive to survive and hopefully she gets mated.
For a video on how this works click below!
Keep checking the blog in the next few weeks to see what happens with this process!