Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Two Swarms

Last week, May 11th, I got a forwarded email from our club's secretary from a man in Coralville who had a neighbor who had a lot of bees going in and out of a black composting bin.  The owners were interested in having them removed.  I called the neighbor and set a time to come take a look. I spoke with Jeff, the neighbor, again before I went and he said there was also a small swarm on a young tree near the compost bin.

 Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the colony in the composting bin. It was huge.  They had drawn out about 8 combs, about 10 inches in length.  It was a much larger group of bees than the swarm in the tree.  I had only brought one box, so took the bees out of the compost bin. It was easy removing the comb and most of the bees, but hundreds were still in and around the bin.  I decided to leave the box near the compost bin and pick it up the next day, as well as an extra nuc in case the swarm was still there.  It was.  I removed it successfully and brought that home.  I'll either keep it as a nuc or combine it with hive #4, which has one capped queen cell as of this past weekend.  I'll have to see if a queen develops there.  Or I may just go ahead and combine anyway if I find a good queen in the swarm.

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