Thursday, June 10, 2010

swarm season is upon us!

Oh my goodness, has a lot ever happened since the last time I posted!

Remember how one of my hives had died because the queen was never released, and then the weather turned horrid and rainy for weeks so the bees couldn't bring in nectar and the hive starved before they could reproduce?

I'd shared this story of woe with my friend and fellow beekeeper, Tricia. And she told her husband about it, because she felt terrible, since she had helped hive them for me and all. She'd asked me what I planned to do next - get more bees? I told her I was going to get my name on the swarm list (a list of beekeepers who are willing to go out and catch swarms when they happen).

I didn't think we had enough boxes for a second hive since we'd added a box from the first hive to the second, so I asked Hubby to make more. He told me we still had another box in storage, and along with the other hive box that still had comb in it, that made two. So in fact, we did have enough for a second hive, so to put my name on the list.

Yesterday Tricia calls me and says there is a swarm at her husband's job site (he is a carpenter), and did I want to go and get it. I asked Hubby if he wanted to go do it. We'd already arranged Kiernen's first babysitting ever because we were meant to go to a financial seminar. Because Hubby had hurt his back helping build a tire fence over the weekend for our community, he wasn't up for it. He didn't know if he'd have to stand a long time or what.

"Hm," I thought, "I wonder if Tricia would like to go? After all, we took the beekeeping class together - she is a beekeeper who is still waiting for her bees - maybe she'd be into it? And Hubby could still go to the financial seminar - he can tell me about it later. We have babysitting - this could work!"

I called her back and she was a go. We both grabbed out equipment, got into the car, drove the 45 minutes out into some of the most beautiful scenery you have ever seen - rural, mountains on every side, and views as far as the eye can see. Beautiful sunny day, the likes of which we haven't seen in weeks.

And we did this:

We caught a swarm!!!! I cannot explain to you the sheer happiness and BLISS I experienced after doing this - and during! It was AMAZING! Just...I have caught swarm fever. I told Hubby I need him to build me more hives ASAP because I NEED to do this again. And it IS swarm season, if the rain would stop again. Because this time of year, when the rain stops, it is immediately crazy hot, and the hives get full, and the bees bolt. Swarm! Beautiful, lovely, amazing swarms!

I told Tricia that if her bees don't come through somehow, we can just go out and catch her a couple of swarms, because I would LOVE to do that again. LOVE it!

So we got the bees in the cardboard box....

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