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What do I do if a swarm of bees turns up?

If you have a swarm of bees - DON'T PANIC. The first thing to check is if they are honey bees. If they really are honey bees then ring your local beekeepers association. For more details on how to check what you have got and get help see our swarms page.

If you live near to Bridport in Dorset then you can ring us on 01308 423808.

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Checking our hives

Time to look at both of the swarms we acquired. The swarm from the New Forest had been left alone for just under a fortnight and as we had found a queen cell in our last inspection, it would be wise to check them out. And then, last week's swarm needed checking over and the floor replacing with one of the new varroa floors we bought from David Pearce last week.

So, yesterday, we opened hive 3 - the New Forest swarm.  We found the queen - she's laying well and there are seven frames with brood.  We did find a queen cup but nothing in it.  We marked the frame with a drawing pin but left it in situ with that frame marked.  They're really nice tempered bees.

Then we opened up hive 4, the small swarm collected last weekend.  They'd taken all the feed we had put on last week so, as there are very few bees - probably only 2-3 frames worth, we gave them some more syrup.  We replaced the floor and have put the tray in so that we can do a varroa check over the next week.

A quick look into hive 2 would seem to suggest we have 4-5 frames of bees drawing out comb so that should build up nicely.

So, we have one thriving colony and another building up but two are rather weak so we'll need to read up and maybe consider combining.
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Posted by sally on Sunday 01 June 2008 - 10:50:37 |printer friendly