Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"There is a bee hive in my back yard"

My bees seemed much less active the last few days and I did not know why. Now maybe I do.
I had just arrived been back home from a trip to the Vets and my neighbor was at the front door. This is sort of a reclusive couple but he did know I have a bee hive.
"There is a bee hive in my back yard"
I double checked with my bee guru Kirk on what to do. As I was calling him from the kitchen I could look out the window and see into the neighbor's back yard and spotted this.

It was a swarm on the underside of his BBQ. I went over for a quick survey and took a couple pictures.

The neighbor had been with me for the first inspection but then barracked himself in the house.
I got my bee suit and a new nuc ( nuclear bee hive box) I just happened to have. When I ordered my bee suit I had added a couple nuc boxes to the order because they were so cheap. It was a good thing to have them on hand today.
I have one medium hive box that I just use when inspecting the hive and those frames were waxed and ready. They are medium frames in a standard nuc box and do not stand up straight or hang properly but Kirk said the bees would not mind.

I put the nuc on a small table and slipped it under the BBQ. I tried brushing the bees off but they were not cooperating and the space was small between the BBQ & the nuc and they were not easy to reach with the nuc in place.
I lifted the BBQ and dropped it a couple inches. The bees were annoyed but the results were better. Some of them, hopefully including the Queen had dropped into the nuc. You can see many of the others marching down into the box.
A little later there was still a fair sized cluster under the BBQ. I tried brushing them into the nuc and they just got annoyed again. I decided to wait and for now the nuc is under that BBQ lip with the lid resting on top to provide shade from the sun. The Queen seems to prefer it dark.. I am fairly sure I have the queen since the initial shake of the BBQ. In an hour or so I will gather up the nuc and move it to my yard.

Got most of them into the nuc and closed it up. The next time I will seal the sides ahead of time.
You can see bees between the nuc side parts up on the right side. I hope the queen was not in there. I tried to not smush them when I put the lid on. A lot of them crawled out the back space later on. Now the front access hole is open, they can decide to stay or leave. I will seal it off tonight after they are all inside and see how they adapt.

There were a number of stragglers still buzzing the area. I tied to wet their wings and sweep them up but had no success with tat. I added some bleach to the spray bottle and misted the area where they had been. Maybe that will encourage then to leave by tonight.

I will not know if this swarm is from my hive or just a coincidence. I will be checking my hive by the weekend and see if there are any old or new supersedure cells.
I have not decided on what to do with the hive. I do not really have space for two hives. The houses here are only about ten ft apart in some places and I do not plan on calling attention to the hive I do have.
Their temporary home right next to the lavender.

UPDATE: The bees overnighted nicely in the nuc and seem to have decided it is a good home.
If they decide it is not a good place they will leave but this AM they seemed happy.


patricia said...

Well aren't you the beekeeping dude! You've captured a swarm! That must give you some sort of beekeeping gold star. You're either a hero to your neighbor--or a nuisance who can't keep his pets in his own yard.

Regardless of what you find in your hive upon inspection, I suggest playing yourself as the hero with your neighbor. Oh no, they weren't my bees. All my bees are in their own hive, happy as can be...

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Hmm, a new hive in the Dale. I wonder. Where could they have come from? Maybe they showed up because of the fine foliage and flowers in the Dale. It was probably due to the fine crop and flower selection that is typical of the fields in the Dale. The name, Billygoat Acres, just cries of farming prevailing in the Dale

Their old home must have been sad if they had to chose an old Kenmore BBQ but then maybe that was the closest thing around. Closest thing? The closest to what? Their old hive? I wonder where it was.

A bee swarm shows up in the Dale and it just happens to be next door, well, maybe 20 ft. from the Dale's nascent bee keeper. Serendipity, has to be. Now our friendly neighborhood beekeeper has a full hive, a hive that should have a new appellation, "Billygoat Bees".

Dennis In The Dale said...

Acres Of Bees, I have as many acres as I have Billygoats.