More July Status
7/24/2005 I went out about 4:30pm this afternoon to water the garden. When I first went out I looked at the bee hives and they were happily going about their business. Everything looked normal. I finished water my next to last bed in the garden and turned around back to face some of the beds I had just watered and there it was a huge swarm hanging onto my watermelon plant. I had just watered the water melon plant not 3 minutes before and they were not there then. I never heard the sound of buzzing or anything. What a suprise, I still don't know if they came out of one of my hives or from somewhere else. I am going to assume mine from the coloration and size of the bees. Here are the pictures taken as I attempted to hive the swarm.
The picture below shows the state of the swarm when I first spotted it.
Just so you have a reference for how big the swarm is here is me next to it.
Here is a closeup of some of the bees in the swarm.
I had to get the swarm of bees into a hive so I don't lose them. I had a hive body with foundation already put together. However, I didn't have a bottom board, inner cover, or outer cover for the hive. Here I am brushing the bees into the hive body.
Since it wasn't easy to brush all the bees straight into the hive, I brushed them into a small card board box and then dumped that into the hive. Here I am getting them in the card board box that I will then dump into the hive body.
Here I am after getting about 1/4 of the bees brushed into the new hive body. After this point they decided it was a nice home and began walking down the trellis and into the hive body on their own. It was pretty neat to watch them walking down.
This is right in front of the new hive body after I had closed it up and moved it so they could more easily get into the hive. Since I didn't have a cover I am using a nice piece of maple I had joined to together for a small table top. Hopefully the covers I ordered will be here in a couple of days. The bottom board at the moment is two pieces of 2x12 clamped together. This was not going to work. So I left Kendra watching the bees and went into the garage to make a better bottom board and entrance for the bees. The bees in this picture are moving into the hive. About half of them are scenting in order to tell the rest of the bees where to come.
Another picture of the bees in front of the hive.
I quickly went up to the garage and built this bottom board for the bees from the bottom of a deep hive body and some cardboard. This should last about three days until I can get the new bottom board and covers I order in.
We actually took about 40 pictures this is only ten of them. This last one shows the hive on its new bottom board that I made quickly. The other clamped bottom board is at the bottom. The bees quickly found the entrance and moved right in. I will go out later this evening and move this new hive onto the stand with the other hives. I will have to wait till wednesday or so until I can get all the new equipement in and get this new hive straightened out. I also need to check to see which hive it came from in order to try and prevent any future swarms.