Spring is such an exciting time for beekeepers. It’s the time for healthy bee colonies to swarm, and I’ve been ready since the beginning of April. Eagerly I’ve had all my tools, hat, veil, gloves and a 5 bar nuc hive in the back of my Jeep just hoping I would get the called. In January, I officially added my name to the West Virginia swarm list with the state apiarist, and I’ve had my fingers crossed ever since. Little did I know that it wouldn’t be the Apiarist that would call me. I woke up this morning with a voicemail from a co-worker asking if I might be interested in a swarm.
I tried really hard not to get too excited because bee’s don’t always stick around for very long. I was pretty excited when they were right where I was told they would be.
I shook them right into my nuc and added 3 bars of drawer comb. It didn’t take these girls long to decide they liked the arrangement. (you can tell by the way they put their bottoms up in the air to fan a “we found a home” pheromones through the air) I just love the sound a happy hive makes. I shook down the remaining bees a few more times before I closed up the nuc and tighten the ratchet strap down to head to our apiary.
As I was talking to the homeowner, I was thrilled to learn that right there in the front yard was a bee tree. A beautiful healthy bee tree…and it’s been there for a number of years. The entrance to the hive was 15 feet off the ground, and it was just buzzing with life. I’m so intrigued with feral hives and would love to do a photo project of found feral hives. I think it would be a great exhibit for the local art center. With that in mind, and seeing that there was a ladder propped up on the porch in front of the tree, so I jokingly suggested I should come back with my camera. He agreed.
I’m not sure he knew I was serious, but I’m hoping to take him up on the opportunity soon 🙂