Busy bee morning

After a couple weeks of not great weather, I anticipated today and tomorrow would bee busy beekeeping days. I was wrong.

Today was a frenetic beekeeping day. I walked outside to retrieve a wayward bucket up by the apiary and noticed a swarm in the making by one of the hives.

Small swarm
This small swarm caught my attention when I was passing by the apiary.

I “just happened” to have a few hives set up in anticipation of such an event, and moved these ladies in short order. A bit later, I spotted another similar sized swarm and put them in yet another pre-prepared hive.

I then sadly watched a swarm up in the pine tree decide they were going “that-a-way” and off that way they went.

All was not lost though. As I went to the garage to get more hive bits and pieces, I saw this:

Swarm in a tree
What a swarm in a tree or shrub looks like

Needless to say, I shook them into the hive I just pulled out of the garage for use as a “bait hive” in case more swarms decided to go house hunting.

As long as I was all geared up and at the apiary, I figured it was time for an inspection on everyone.

Hive 1 is strong, queenright, and needs to lose a super of honey.

Hive2 is also strong, queenright, needs to lose a super full of honey, and Her Majesty popped out and said hello.

Hives 3,4, and 5 got established as caught swarms. 4 needs a better fitting inner cover, and is the beginning of the all medium frame hive experiment. Feed.

Hive 6 swarmed, found several nice queen cells. Split it, making hive 10, It had shown signs of varroa mites, this brood break should mitigate the mites. Will check on it in 2 weeks as well.

Hive 7 is in good shape, her Majesty said hello, and needs a queen excluder and a 10 frame honey super.

Hive 8 is a NUC established a few weeks ago, has a nice queen cell and I will have to check again in a couple weeks for eggs/larvae.

Hive 9 is one that swarmed, left it alone because I have bad luck not damaging queen cells, and I expect there’s a big juicy one in there. I may go in with the endoscope for a look once things calm down.

Hive 10, just established with nice queen cell from 6. Leave it alone for a coupe weeks. Feed.

I need to make a couple queen castles to accommodate all the queen cells I’ve been finding – time to start raising queens on a small scale.