Saturday, June 28, 2014
A False Swarm
Normally I would start pulling up my swarm traps and giving up on swarms in general about this time of the season. Usually I have all my swarm traps stored away by fourth of July weekend. This season however has been so strange I think I am going to keep them out for another few weeks.
This evening after I got home from work I went to check on the outter Apiaries and the conditions were just perfect for when I typically see swarms around here. It had rained a bit earlier with another front coming in but the sun was out in between them and it was heating up fast. Usually we see conditions like this earlier in June but this year they just started.
As soon as I stepped out at the North Apiary I saw a swarm forming. A huge cloud of bees above the hives and St. James Colony looked like it was literally shooting a stream of bees out of it's upper entrance. I parked myself to watch and see where the swarm would land and to my amazement all the bees settled right down on the very top of the hive they had left. Then slowly in groups of a few at a time they went back into their hive.
I then carefully began checking around the hives because last time I saw a false swarm I ended up finding the little group of bees you see above. A queen with a few attendants left all alone outside her hive. If that same scenario played out this evening then so be it but I have also seen the bees leave for a swarm and somehow not get the queen to come with them and I am pretty sure that is what happened this time.
This year has been so screwy and with scattered pockets spread around that seem to be weeks or a month or more behind that I am pretty convinced we are going to see an extended swarm season. Now whether or not that helps my pitiful capture record for this year is unknown right now.
As of the evening not a one of my Northern traps is showing any signs of scouts or interest by bees.
Just been a very strange year so far.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!