Well I am no longer in anticipation of Spring because it has arrived. The grass has gotten greener and the tasks in the apiary have increased tenfold!
There is lots of pollen and nectar coming into the hives with the some what warmer temperatures. It’s beautiful and prime time for swarming!!
Last year I caught a swarm in May of 2021. It was relocated to my apiary where the colony established itself well. On 22nd April 2022 around 11:30AM – Noon, this same colony, decided to swarm just before I had to leave to meet someone. Thankfully someone retrieved them for me.
Today is 29 April, 2022, a week later. Perfect day to drive to the Amish man who makes wooden hive ware. We had a wonderful visit with him and his family. On the way home the neighbor called and said one of his colonies had swarmed and had some questions. We pass his house on the route home so we stopped and could see the swarm from the driveway. We parked and walked to the tree and just that quick they had flown away. Then it was homeward bound. The wooden ware was off loaded into the garage for painting and then I was off to the apiary. I was greeted with a colony with extreme bearding. I scratched my head because it wasn’t really hot enough for the bees to do this. Plus this isn’t normal behavior. I went to the she bee shed and grabbed a bottom board and a single deep and lid. When I returned to the colony I stood in front of it still perplexed. Then my eyes dropped down into the hen bit growing on the ground. Almost like a homing beacon there was the blue dot 🔵 marked queen! This was a miracle. I happen to know this queen’s wings are tattered because she is actually getting old. The best she could do was land in front of the hive. So I brushed the bees on the side of the hive into the new deep along with the blue dot queen who will get replaced this season season.
So with a sense of accomplishment I worked my way to another colony. I no sooner cracked the lid and I hear that familiar sound from another nearby colony. That’s right, another swarm at around 4:00 PM 😵💫 This time I was going to have to earn the bees back.
So what have I learned? Yes you can split in March when the weather is cool.