Last week, I was walking around trying to get snapshots for landscape art when I noticed one of our hives was awfully quiet. Compare the two. I also noticed a rather strong hum and meant to go tell Garry but something came up and I forgot.
See the scouts flying around in the sky area of this pic? The brown clusters are the swarms. Luckily we had a couple of Amish boys working on our land so they helped capture two of the swarms, but when they all went back to work after lunch, the hives were empty again.
Bees swarm when there are more than one Queen, which was the case.They also swarm when the hive healthy. They leave with a queen to start anew. When we looked later, the quiet, vacated hive was full again so at least one swarm simply returned home. It would of been great to actually have doubled our hives but thats okay. We still have one more on an organic farm so perhaps that we may be able to split hives next year if they survive.
In the meantime, we unabashadly have robbed two supers
About 60 lbs worth of honey. Garry is off trying to assess the third one woth a master bee keeper. He is of the mindvthat this robbing will keep them busy enough to not seek a new home, thereby preventing swarming. Thats the theory. The bees do have mites however and we will likely treat them.
Note that we left a winters supply of honey in each hive. We will probably sell it as the two boxes represent 5 gallons. A gallon does us for a year and that includes gift giving.
Honey is neither vegan nor is it alkaline but its still very good for you. We do not mistreat our bees. Infact, it looks like robbing the honey we do helps hives survive. If they fly off into the wild, they could die whole searching for a home. Here we care for them. Even if we dont eat alot of it, its a worthwhile experience. Conserving the honey bee s deeply important.