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Shook Swarm

So that's how it's done!

Just got back from the monthly beekeeping meeting at the WDBKA - great that they have a training apiary - and one of the hives which had been diseased had to have all the comb replaced. a fresh brood box was prepared with frames and foundation and a contact feeder made ready with sugar syrup. The new queen had been located and marked red (this year's colour) a little earlier in the afternoon and everyone gathered round to observe the shook swarm.

They're national hives at the WDBKA apiary so off came the roof, and the crown board and the existing brood box placed to the side.

The floor was cleaned up and flamed as an extra precaution and a queen "includer" added to prevent the queen from leaving. That stays on for three days or more to give the bees time to draw out some of the new comb. It does mean they can't bring in pollen so shouldn't be left on for more than a week. The new brood box was put in positon with the centre half dozen frames removed to leave a space into which to shake the bees.

Looking at the original brood box, it was pretty clear where the queen was, all the activity was between a couple of frames and after a short inspection she was easily found (thanks to the red spot) and placed into a queen box for safe keeping. Then, one by one each of the frames was shaken into the new brood box, any stray bees brushed off and the old frames put straight into a bin bag for later destruction. The queen could then be released into her new space. A great job, very expertly done with a firm hand by Ruth and Paula!

The crown board and prepared contact feeder were put in place, an empty brood box to account for the space needed for the feeder and the roof place back on top.

Now it's over to the bees to do the rest.

Just the job!

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Posted by sally on Saturday 05 April 2008 - 18:08:34 |printer friendly