Domesticating a Bee Swarm

4 Jul

Almost a month ago, while we were at the farm for the family reunion, Jay noticed on  Saturday morning a swarming mass on a large mock orange (Philadelphius).

 

A honey bee swarm!

An old queen leaves with a significant portion of the extant hive workers to found a new hive home after a new queen is born.

Jay has helped bees find a new home before.  A rogue swarm we watched come in a thick cloud across the fields to land in the mountain ash he successfully domesticated into old wooden fruit crates.  They lived quite nicely for several years until wax moths insinuated themselves and murdered the hive.

In the barn Jay located an old tall wooden box or dresser.  In the late afternoon he and his helper, dressed whatever protective clothing was available, propped up the proposed new home, snipped the branch holding the swarm, and slowly, carefully escorted them to their proposed new domicile.

Their move to a new home was a success.  They have set up housekeeping and presumably are busy building wax combs and storing nectar. Busy as bees.

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One Response to “Domesticating a Bee Swarm”

  1. Nita McConnell 4 July 2011 at 7:17 AM #

    You guys do the most interesting things!

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