[Next post from the original first year blog. Edited to update it.]
Just an update. The saying goes "a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon." About the middle of June I rescued a small swarm and put it in the hive at Karen and Maria's place. A week later the colony is thriving and has filled about 1/4 of the 48" TBH. They seem happy, productive and quite content in their new home, despite the last swarm we introduced there absconding a week or so later. The girls act like they know they are a 'silver spoon'.
Another friend called to have me come look at a giant old oak tree that had a colony inside. What lovely, docile bees! A year or so before the colony had a swarm leave the tree and settle in the well house 50 feet away in a very inconvenient area for bees and humans alike. All indications appear to indicate that the oak tree colony isn't a good candidate for a cut-out. And although the tree is close to the house and other outbuildings that have lots human activity, we decided to try to set a bait hive up to control the swarms as they leave the oak tree. We'll just let the main colony remain in the oak forever, nobody is disturbed by the presence of the bees.
I set up the Warre' I had at home (where the bees also absconded) next to the oak tree and baited it with lemongrass oil and some pieces of the leftover comb. Hopefully any swarms will just take up residence and not stray any further.
Meanwhile K&M's new bees are carrying in lots of pollen and have taken over pollination chores in their lovely garden.
Black Willow in Bloom
3 days ago