Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: 1st swarm in over 30 years!  (Read 5125 times)

Beewyched

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
    • tunkeyherd.co.uk
1st swarm in over 30 years!
« on: June 26, 2011, 03:41:47 pm »
Not mine - but it's mine now   ;)

Got back from the abattoir on Wednesday & went to sit out the front garden for a relaxing cup of coffee.  I heard a loud buzzing noise from the orchard & went to investigate.  I found a swarm of bees congregating in the hedge - oh no, I thought mine were ok this year - I'd only got them as a small nuc last autumn from a local keeper & I'd inspected them a few weeks ago & put on a super! On quick investigation, realised it wasn't my swarm.

Now where had I put the spare hive? The last time I'd dealt with a swarm was over 30 years ago, helping my Father with his bees - could I remember what to do?

Well, it took 2 attempts (don't think I'd got the Queen the 1st time), but they're happily settled in a Brood with some sugar syrup & have been foraging in-between showers the past few days - just hope the weather's been ok for the Queen to mate.

What a lovely surprise  ;D  :bee:
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry - www.tunkeyherdkunekune.com

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2011, 07:45:53 pm »
Well done you! I wish we coudl get some bees by any legal means. The fields are white with clover and the lime tree's almost in bloom - just waiting for them.

Beewyched

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
    • tunkeyherd.co.uk
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 08:07:33 pm »
Have you got an empty hive Rosemary?  I could have it down here, just in-case I get another load of visitors  ;)

I'll probably make a nuc or 2 next year - to prevent mine from swarming - so if your happy to wait ...
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry - www.tunkeyherdkunekune.com

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2011, 08:15:09 pm »
Ooh, I'll speak to me father-in-law, who's really interested in bees (I'm just the back up  ;D)

Beewyched

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
    • tunkeyherd.co.uk
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2011, 08:21:46 pm »
If he's impatient to get going, I'm sure the'll be someone on here happy to oblige  :D
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry - www.tunkeyherdkunekune.com

jinglejoys

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2011, 10:09:26 pm »
I had a swarm in my orchard some yrs ago.Don't keep bee's so got in touch with the local Bee big wig.He said he'd come and take them away but was going to destroy them!!! :o Needless to say I told him  not to bother!

Beewyched

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
    • tunkeyherd.co.uk
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2011, 10:29:45 pm »
Not sure whereabouts you are Jj, but there have been increasing outbreaks of bee diseases in the UK over recent years.  It could be possible that there was a high risk in your area that year, so, sad as it may seem, I can understand swarms being destroyed in those circumstances to help prevent further infections.

Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry - www.tunkeyherdkunekune.com

Greenerlife

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Leafy Surrey
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 05:22:32 pm »
It's very exciting when you get free bees isn't it?  I beekeep with a guy who is on the police list for swarms, so we get at least 3 swarms per season.  We were just commenting last week that we hadn't had any calls and have now had 3 in one week!  One didn't settle, and I have just been out beekeeping in an electrical storm (holding an umbrella would you believe!  Not recommended!  LOL) to put a feed on one.  Enjoy your freebees!

Beewyched

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
    • tunkeyherd.co.uk
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2011, 10:00:17 pm »
An umbrella  ??? & you're using your PC too - in an electrical storm :o   ;) ;D

"Freebees" - I get it now  ;D ;D ;D
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry - www.tunkeyherdkunekune.com

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2011, 10:59:46 pm »
I would treat the swarm with an either Apiguard or Apistan (as you will not really get any honey from them in the first year anyway), and it should see off any varroa that they may have brought with them. Also inspect with an experienced beekeeper to make sure they do not carry anything like EFB or AFB - there were outbreaks up here in Scotland last year!

Beewyched

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
    • tunkeyherd.co.uk
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2011, 11:04:26 pm »
Ooher - hadn't though of that  ??? So excited that I'd got them  ::)  Will get some strips ordered - pronto!  Didn't get any reports of FB in this area through our BKA, but I'll drop Ian an email - Ta
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry - www.tunkeyherdkunekune.com

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2011, 11:23:42 pm »
I would treat the swarm with an either Apiguard or Apistan (as you will not really get any honey from them in the first year anyway), and it should see off any varroa that they may have brought with them. Also inspect with an experienced beekeeper to make sure they do not carry anything like EFB or AFB - there were outbreaks up here in Scotland last year!
feed the  swarm with a decent sugar solution  for  three weeks or four weeks and the bees will be strong enough to  return you some honey especially if you have lots of willow herb , heather & ivy around you .

 the okld saying

A swarm in May is worth a load of hay ,
A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon
A swarm inn july ain't worth a fly .

 really only applies to non sugar solution fed bees .. my pals and I often fed  syrup from March to September to get " express honey " from mid April to mid August .
 The sugar was unfit for human consumption white sugar stuff from a sugar beet factory at  pennies per KG
don't use brown sugar.. it tends to giver the bees the craps.

When this scrap was not availabe I contacted my local Lidel store and got a good price on a pallet of  1kg bags of white sugar.
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2011, 01:04:57 pm »
Yes feeding them is a good idea too - I never had a swarm yet....

Neighbour recently had to destroy a colony that had lived in his roof space for years, as he was needing repairs done and the workmen got stung quite badly... Shame but there was no way to get at the bees or get any honey...

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: 1st swarm in over 30 years!
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2011, 11:26:17 pm »
We've had so many swarms this year that we've lost count, including one in the Bishop of St Albans' garden.  A couple have been massive, larger than the basket OH normally uses.

One of the callouts was to a local school who were really snotty.  Clearly thought it was a public service rather than a voluntary act.  The swarm turned out to be a couple of bumble bees.

 

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