Catching a swarm!

Beekeeping

When we were in Kansas, my mom was mowing the lawn and noticed a clump of bees hanging in her grape arbor.  It was a swarm…
My mom called a couple of local people that she knows that have bees.  One lady said she would come and get the swarm…
She sprayed the swarm with sugar water to keep them together.  She brushed them into a cardboard box.  There were still some bees hanging out on the post so we weren’t sure if we got the queen.  The post that they were hanging out on was split so we did not know if maybe the queen was inside the post still.  So, we just put the box on the ground and waited about 20 minutes.  

Slowly, the bees made their way down from the post into the box so we knew we had the queen in the box.

The bees seemed to have liked this spot and were starting to make honeycomb here.  It is a little hard to see but it is the white stuff on the lower post here…

This was such a neat experience!  She was going to package them for me to take back to Idaho but I do not have an extra hive.  She is taking the bees to her place.  She has 8 active hives right now and 2 empty hives.  If I ever see a swarm (near my home), I would not hesitate to try and capture it!

Top bar beehive at ReMARKable Farms

I came back from our trip to Kansas and everything looked good in our hive.  I added 3 new “bars” for the girls to continue making honeycomb.  When I inspected everything the next week, things were not right…
The first thing I noticed is that they were making comb on the divider board.  This should not be happening….

Then, at the other end of the hive, they had made a comb that was curved and doubled (for lack of a better term).  Also, the bees are starting to now put their resources into making honey for the winter and a “honey flow” had occurred.  So, in one week, there was all the sudden a lot of honey in these deformed honeycombs.  I had to clean it all out.  I was almost sick to my stomach to take all that out badly formed comb.  I tried to “give” it to the bees by placing it on the ground in front of the hive, but, after one day, I could tell they were not eating it.  
I picked up the honeycomb and pressed the honey out of it…
Then, I rendered the beeswax from the honeycomb.  Here is a pic of the honey we got and beeswax…
This honey was not “matured” so it will not keep and we will need to eat it soon.  I am watching the hive more closely to make sure that the next combs are more straight.

One day I went out and could not see any eggs.  I just about freaked out because I thought something had happened to the Queen!  I took a new bar and put it in among the brood nest.  I waited a couple of days and then they made new honeycomb and I could see eggs in the new honeycomb.  The day I had checked before, it was cloudy and I think that I was just having a hard time seeing the eggs (because they are REALLY small) and I did not have any sunshine to put the honeycomb up to to see through clearly.

Things seem to be humming along with the bees for now.  I will try to get an update on the sunflowers next week.  They are starting to bloom but it is going very SLOWLY…

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