Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Catching a swarm hive

Saturday I was walking around the in-laws property and noticed a lot of bees flying around a section of the privet hedge.

Hmm, that's odd there are no flowers there.

After closer inspection I thought I had found a swarm, but it was a hive that had formed in the hedge. This would explain why my father-in-law was chased by the bees when he was mowing. Normally bees won't come after you if you're not near their hive. He clearly was near this hive.

By the look of things this hive was there for a few weeks, you can see in the pictures there was sealed brood.

First step was to get the hive out of the bush and into a hive body. Only problem was that all of mine are in use. I had a few boxes kicking around from my father's beekeeping days. Took a bottom board and hive body, fired up the propane torch to "toast" the inside to kill any latent diseases and they were put back into service. As you can see from the pictures I don't have a proper hive top, a simple piece of plywood would have to do.

I placed the wild hive in the box, hoping they'd start building out the frames. That lead me to build some bee swarm frames from plans I found on the Internet. I built six of them and then went to work on Sunday placing the comb into the frames. The wild hive was designed to hang off the bush not lay sideways.

Of course another swarm showed up yesterday, thanks to some family help they are sitting in a Nuc hive right now.