Last night, as we were deciding which trees were ready to fend for themselves at the farm, hubby spotted another swarm of bees in our yard. Once again, they were behind the trealis and a fence post. The poor honeysuckle is still recovering from the last swarm extraction, and this time the two grapevines got to share the pain! (I should know in a couple of weeks whether or not grapevines can be rooted from “cuttings”!)
|Swarm – April 7|
These bees were quite cooperative. Hubby scooped a couple of handfuls into a NUC, I squirted some Honey B Healthy onto the inner cover, we gave them a stick to use as a bridge and they pagenented right on in. By the time we’d checked the other hives, only two lost bees were still wandering around on the fence.
One of our other splits now has the fattest queen I have ever seen, so that NUC made the trip to the farm and the bees are already bringing in loads of white pollen. We moved them up to an 8-frame so that they could get over all of their confusion about the new location at once and they seem to be as happy as clams. The queen cells in the sister NUC have hatched, but we didn’t see a queen. Hopefully she will find her way home in a couple of days.
The other hives at the farm are all active, but we didn’t check them today. Hubby is digging more tenches for water lines and I planted some tomatoes and thyme. We are really curious to see whether the diatomaceous-earth we sprinkled on the ground two weeks ago has had any impact on the small hive beetles. It’s supposed to kill them when they go back onto the ground to pupate. Now that the hives are stronger, we aren’t seeing as much of a problem as when we came out of that really cold snap, but we’d love to see no beetles at all. It still seems like having the hive in a sunny spot works wonders, but that is going to make hive checks challenging in July.
The dog is chewing on a pine-cone, hubby is working hard, and I’m enjoying sitting out in the 72 degree sunshine. It’s amazing to sit here at this time of day and see just how many insects are flying around at any given time and at how many spider webs are catching the sunlight. Even with the sound of the Ditch Witch, the farm is so peaceful and just a good place to be. We are just so very lucky and happy to be here.