The spring weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been pleasant for a few days now and like all animals, the bees are ready to reproduce. We noticed some swarm cells in our beehive just over a week ago so we tried to pre-empt a swarm by removing the queen, some brood and stores to a new hive – trying to trick them into thinking they had swarmed.
This morning I thought I would check the new hive and saw another swarm cell – meaning that they had decided to swarm again. By the time I had walked to the barn to get the kit to make another artificial swarm they had done it for real! The bees were pouring out of the hive and forming a bee tornado all around me, but because they are fueled up with honey for the trip they don't sting.
They settled in a fir tree a few yards away and so I climbed a set of stepladders and shook the cluster into a large cardboard box – they were surprisingly heavy, probably 4 Kg in all.
Then we simply poured the bees into yet another new hive, we must have caught the queen as they stayed put.
So now we have three hives when a couple of weeks ago we had one! Whew! Charles