The First Swarm
Caught my first swarm of bees today, or at least assisted in their capture. One thing (among many) about beekeeping that has always been amazing to me is how every year you can learn something new. Bees can be unpredictable, temperamental and frustrating; however the intricacies that lie within their patterns and routines are things of wonder. If you remove a queen from her colony, the bees will almost instantly begin preparations to create a new one. After 16 days of care and careful planning, a new queen emerges from the special cell her loyal subjects built for her, and kingdom life goes back to normal.
Once she is accepted by the colony we beekeepers have to wait for her to become “mated”, at which point she will begin laying eggs and increasing colony numbers.
Over the years beekeepers have learned ways to manipulate or encourage this process to our advantage. From introducing queens ourselves to prompting the colony to split and commence this process at our command so that instead of one colony we may have two, or three. The process is as old as time but only nature herself has mastered it.
Check out my Youtube video below showing some of this process. And don’t forget to subscribe!
Have you captured a honey bee swarm? Share with us below!
A Note From Homesteaders of Michigan
We’d like to recommend you also consider following and supporting our friends Indigo Acres Apiary and Detroit Hives, both are so inspiring and informative. The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses by Richard Jones is a highly recommended book and is a beautiful add for your collection.
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