April and May is swarming season for honeybees

Hi All,

It has been a while since my last post. Over the last month and a half my wife Jody and I have contracted COVID-19. We have obviously serviced. It is 7-10 days of a serious bad nasty head/chest cold with fever and fatigue! Anyway, we now have the antibodies in our system. And just in time for honeybee swarm season!

I have set a dozen of my honeybee swarm trap in hopes of catching several wild honeybee swarms. This time of year the queen bee is laying about 1500 eggs per day. In no time the hive in a hollow tree or and old barn wall becomes overpopulated with bees. So the queen instructs 1/2 the hive to gorge themselves with honey and find a new home for her new colony of bees. Once they fine that new place (hopefully one of my traps) they will quickly draw new wax comb with the honey they have eaten so the queen can start laying eggs to populate her new colony! My success rate catching swarms in my traps is about 50%. Once they establish the new colony in one of my traps, I will bring it to my bee yard and put them in a proper hive box.

I also am starting to build several long hives out of 2-1/4” thick red cedar slabs. The reason for these new types of hive? Is once built and placed in their permanent location the heaviest thing you need to pick up is a single frame of bees or honey. No more lifting 100 pound brood boxes full of bees and comb. Also no more picking up 60-80 pound honey supers. I will be 68 years old this year, picking up these heavy bee boxes is getting harder and harder on my back.

My hope is to have a dozen or so of these long hives built and placed in the next few weeks! ?

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