Wow, last week was full of calls for picking up swarms. Best swarm activity in years! Around 11am on Monday in Tooting I was about to get in my car when I heard a loud roar overhead. I thought to myself, that sounds like a swarm of bees? I looked up and there was a prime swarm of bees in flight passing among the chimney breasts of the Victorian terraced houses. I jumped in my car and gave chase, but lost them a few streets away.
The next few days we were busy collecting swarms here and there, but mainly in SW London. Now is the time to super up your hives. Give the bees plenty of room to reduce the chance of swarming.
We have also been busy doing divides. This means we look at colonies that are very strong and showing signs of wanting to swarm, producing queen cells, over populated. We leave the queen and five frames of sealed brood behind in the original hive position. We take the other remaining frames and put them in an empty hive, add the remaining frames of foundation and remove all but two queen cells. BINGO you have the makings of a new colony. Once the queen hatches and starts laying this will grow in size and if they too expand quickly, produce queen cells, you can divide them.
Feed all new divides (nucs) to encourage the queen to lay and the bees to draw out the wax foundation.
photo copyright 2009 ©-The Hive Honey Shop