I got a swarm!

I received one that is…
The last couple of weeks have been somewhat busy and seattle is finally seeing some truly warm weather (85+). On memorial day weekend I spent most of saturday afternoon with my mentor as we visted another of his hives he has on another guys property. We also visited another one of his mentees- who had about 5 hives going and had already had a few swarms already this year- he seemed a bit overwhelmed and was looking to consolidate a couple of his hives- one of which we did not find the queen or eggs. We finished up the day at the elliot bay brewing company where we sampled the brew that was made from my mentor’s honey!

On memorial day tim went with me to check my hives. Hive #1, the “good” hive, was doing so well (had 7+ frames with drawn comb) that I added a new box on top for the girls to expand into. The second hive was still pretty pitiful- drone brood only and barely had 4 frames with comb (2 of which were supplied when I started the hive). Tim indicated he would watch for a swarm and inject it into this hive at the next opportunity.
Well, that came yesterday- I was out paddling and upon my return, had a vmail from my mentor saying he’d left me a gift! A swarm, not huge, but hopefully enough to breathe life back into hive #2. I will go back and check on them later next week.

Both hives have used up the majority of the sugar syrup I’d original provided (4 1quart jars for each hive). Tim said to not replace them as we want the bees to make honey from nectar, not the sugar water…and blackberries are in season now.

I am still attempting to get some pictures of my hives while they are open and I am doing my hive checks. I tried this on my last visit but it was impossible with just one person and gloved hands (not that brave yet to take them off). I want to try to figure out how to do one of those helmet cam things…or perhaps I should just start with a tripod setup. more research.



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