Sunday, June 15, 2014
Lost a Swarm (maybe) and Other Bad News
After I had done my duties for the day as a husband and a son by going to breakfast with the little wife, taking her shopping, mowing my dad's lawn etc. I finally got down to check on two of my outter bee yards this afternoon. As soon as I got out of the truck up at the North Apiary I could hear the swarm. It had just left my oldest hive and was mostly still in a large cloud. I stood there and watched waiting to see where they would ball up and they chose the worst possible place, for me anyway.
Forty or so feet up a tree with a trunk not much larger than maybe 4 inches at the base. A long tall whip-like thing and nowhere to even hook a ladder to. This is the first swarm I have had in over five years now that has landed in a spot I cannot get to. I guess it was bound to happen sometime and since the North Apiary is in some pretty heavy old growth hardwoods it makes sense it would be there.
It's a good sized swarm too but I guess I am just going to have to hope they move into one of my nearby traps. There are a couple of old bee trees scattered about, although none are currently occupied, so it is possible this swarm may go feral on me.
I have to work in the morning so I will check on it when I get back tomorrow and just hope they go for one of my traps as I said. Trouble is I had so few losses this Winter I am now out of old comb in my traps. The old comb is a pretty good invitation to a swarm that I believe often makes their minds up for them.
Swarm season has been really slow this year so I am kinda surprised this hive swarmed. Their box was so empty a month ago I almost thought about reducing their real estate and there were no swarm cells in the hive then either.
Oh well. Even if this swarm escapes into the wild it will add to the general local population and may supply me with swarms long into the future.
Oh ya I almost forgot. We lost the bottle lamb yesterday. The vet finally admitted he had no clue what was wrong with the little guy and we decided to put him down. About a week ago he got to where he wasn't walking and he then developed a urinary tract infection of some kind as well. The vet tried all kinds of stuff and anti-biotics etc. and nothing worked. The poor little guy just kept getting worse and worse and the bill was getting larger and larger.
That means we lost two boy lambs this year out of 24. We fell two short of my overall prediction as well I think. The other 22 lambs are doing fine though and I think we are half and half on ewes to whethers now.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!