Bees, Bees, and more Bees!

Richard’s father had bees, and Richard used to have bees many years ago. However, it had been many years since he had them here on the farm.

In the spring of 2020 when there wasn’t much going on, Richard decided to set out a hive as a “swarm trap” to see if we could catch any. We knew there were wild bees in the trees on our place. 

We set up the hive/trap in our tripod tree stand, and were excited to find a swarm moved in within a couple of days!! 

Our first swarm capture
We harvested a small amount of the BEST honey you've ever had in the summer of 2021

Unfortunately, that first hive died in the spring of 2022.

We had swarm traps out all of 2021 and 2022, and didn’t catch any until the spring of 2023 when a swarm arrived in our hive at our usual bee area which Richard had set up as a swarm trap. We didn’t catch any other bees in our swarm traps the rest of that year.
July 2023: hive from a swarm captured earlier in the spring

In early 2024, Richard set up a swarm trap beside our current hive and also another trap out in the trees. 

April 22, 2024 swarm

The swarm oddly attached to the back of the swarm trap. Maybe they were still checking it out? 

Richard carefully moved the bees from the back to inside the swarm trap.

If you are wondering about this swarm trap being . . . colorful, last summer a squirrel decided our swarm trap was the perfect place to file down his teeth! Richard almost tossed it, but lumber is expensive. So, using scraps of this and that, he fixed it up!

Two days after catching the swarm above, Richard saw a swarm on a fence not far from our bee area!! He ran over to pick up the other swarm trap to put them in!

Swarm April 24
Getting the last of the bees moved in
One hive and two swarm traps all with bees in them
A week after capture, Richard moved the first swarm into a regular hive. They had already built some comb on the foundation.
And, he put a super on the older hive on April 29
Two full hives and still one swarm trap.
On May 6, Richard moved the second swarm into a full hive box. Here you can see the queen has already laid a bunch of eggs (they were captured on April 24).
Three full hives in a row

On April 30 (after moving the first swarm to a hive) Richard put the swarm trap back up in the tree stand. We didn’t check it until May 11, when we found it had collected yet another swarm!

Our third swarm of this spring!

Richard’s been furiously fixing up his old hive boxes trying to keep up with the swarms! He’s got a box ready for this swarm and pieces to fix up for another box in case our other trap (below) catches something!

We set up another swarm trap on May 11

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