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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yet Another Swarm Chooses Me!

When I drove into my carport from work today, there were bees buzzing all around this little nuc stored with some bee equipment on the side wall of my carport. Another swarm has chosen my house for its home.

Yesterday I saw lots of scouts buzzing around the nuc which at that time had no bottom board. Just in case, before I went to bed last night I went out and put a bottom board under the nuc. This evening it is full of bees. I only watched them zooming in and out and didn't really check it out. I did lift the top enough to see bees crawling on the tops of the frames. This isn't a large swarm -it isn't boiling over with bees, but they definitely have moved in to stay.


In a way they have chosen wisely. The nuc is up on a brick wall about knee high. It is protected from the elements by the carport roof and it faces directly east.

Against this home choice is the fact that my carport light comes on automatically at 6 PM and stays on until 11. The nuc is 3 feet from my kitchen door, the door just about everyone uses to enter my house. And as you can see, they don't have a direct flight out of the nuc - it faces a stack of frames, boxes, slatted racks, and bottom boards, although I will be putting most of those pieces of equipment into use in hives this weekend.


I can't believe that this is the second swarm to arrive in my yard this year. Perhaps these are cast from my own hives, and maybe they are from somewhere else....none of my hives seem at all diminished. I guess now that I am a beekeeper, the smell of equipment and other bees in residence draws the swarm.

I imagine after they've settled in about a week, I'll relocate them somewhere in my backyard. Where, I don't know since I already have eight hives. I could put them next to Devorah under the tree in my yard, rather than on my deck.

Meanwhile my abelia is in full fragrant bloom. Abelia is a member of the honeysuckle family and blooms most of the summer. Every day it is covered with bumblebees. I think the nectar may be far down for honeybees, but today I noticed my bees working just as hard on this abelia as the bumblebees were.


Here's a bee hanging on the abelia blossom, not quite nectar oriented yet! Addendum, June 11 I have just watched both bumblebees and honeybees for about 15 minutes on my abelia bush - they all gather the nectar from the space where this honeybee is getting it - between the calyx and the corolla. So the bee in the picture is in fact harvesting nectar for the camera.

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3 comments:

  1. Mom,
    How cool you have a new hive. Pretty soon you are going to run out of space. Also I was jealous because Sarah has a jar of your newest honey. I hope to get one soon. I tasted it and it is delicious.

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  2. Jessica2:33 PM

    Hi Linda -

    This nectar gathering technique fascinates me - I just saw the same thing happen on the annual torenia here in New Jersey - lots of honey bees at the outside neck of the tubular flowers just as your girl is on the abelia. I am glad to know that they are gathering nectar and that I didn't plant a tasty treat they couldn't get to!

    I also just planted an abelia this year and while she is not blooming yet I will look forward to it for next year - I hope mine looks half as good as yours.

    Thanks!

    - Jessica

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  3. Stephen9:28 AM

    Hey Linda,

    You are doing better that I am. I just got into beekeeping and have two hives of Russians. I lost one this winter and the other is not doing well. to have four swarms come your way that is great.

    Stephen

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