Swarms Galore

We have had a really great start to the swarm season here in the Wheeling area.  There are no empty Dave’s Bees originated hives.  The dead out was filled with a great swarm retrieved in a cardboard box and it is doing well.  Then we got the swarm I’m holding
from my friends’ apiary when it swarmed out of their KTBH.

Dave holding a swarm from friends' KTBH

Dave holding a swarm from friends' KTBH

We put that in an empty bait hive since their apiary was growing faster than the hives and it absconded the next day.  That was not a big problem as they had a bait hive up in the area and it had a colony move in.  My friends frantically built another KTBH and the bait hive colony is sitting on top of the new KTBH and is scheduled to go in on Sunday June 11.  Then the same friends got a second swarm in the yard and that got put in the only remaining KTBH from Dave’s Bees.  But the story is not over; got another nice swarm in a bait hive that is going to a fledgling natural beekeeper with a brand spanking new KTBH on Monday June 12.  Last but not least…we put our old rickety hive out as a bait hive and 4 days later we had new tenants.

Bait Hive

This bait hive had a swarm move in 4 days after we put it out.

This presents a new problem for us; finding room in the car to transport them to Maine.
Speaking for myself…that’s it for this swarm season!

Screened Mason Bee Blocks

The Mason bees are done for this year at Dave’s Bees.  We decided to put a screen over the front of the blocks to keep the woodpeckers and wasps from opening the holes.  We used aluminum window screen with push pins to hold it in place.  These blocks could stay right where they are until late winter before the tubes are changed out.

Screened Mason Bee Blocks

Large and small Mason bee blocks screened to keep out intruders.

The screen is just slipped in between the blocks and wrapped around the small block then pinned with the push pins.  With the large block the screen is simply folded on gift wrap style and held with the push pins.