Swarm Season!!

 Yes, May in Iowa to beekeepers means it's Swarm Time!  Colonies that have overwintered with strong numbers build up rapidly in the spring, and if the beekeeper doesn't keep ahead of them they will swarm.  The queen takes flight with thousands of bees from the hive to begin a new colony.  This is the bee's way of survival and increasing their numbers.

This was a typical sized swarm, situated near our apiary where most of our swarms have landed temporarily before taking off again for their permanent home.  Thankfully, the bees made this very easy for us by choosing to light on a low, sturdy branch.

We placed a box below the swarm in case we jarred it too much when cutting off the branch.  Fortunately, we were able to carry the swarm right over to the hive box we had prepared with a frame of honey, a frame of bee bread, and empty and undrawn frames.  In basically two moves, we had the majority of bees in their new home.  In relatively short time, all the flying bees made their way into the new hive.

We'll keep our fingers crossed that they do indeed decide to make this their new home.  Sometimes, they simply have different ideas  and don't like what the beekeeper offers, but I feel good about this one.  

It was fun.


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