Sew Karen-ly Created...

If you have arrived here via a link (such as to a tutorial) click on "Sew Karen-ly Created" to return to the latest blog post. I invite you to my website to see a gallery of quilts and patterns available for purchase. Shown here is "To Be Where You Belong", presented to Sir Paul McCartney on his visit to Nova Scotia in 2009.
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Thursday, 7 July 2011

A Swarm In July

Isn't worth a fly...unless it's your own bees, of course. We managed to get all the hives moved successfully from blueberry fields to a cranberry bog over the past few days. Since then, we have been checking through the hives to see how full each is, and who needs boxes added for growth. Because there are so many hives this year compared to past years, hubby has been struggling to keep ahead of building frames and boxes. This morning we added supers to several of the hives. We weren't home more than 30 minutes when we got a call that there was a swarm in a nearby tree. Oh, oh...
It was a big one. There were a LOT of bees clustered here. Luckily the branch was within easy reach, which makes the capture process much simpler.
We set up a "nuc" under the swarm and hubby cut off the branch. He gently shook the bees over the nuc box which contained a frame of honey as enticement.
There was a fair bit of spillage so he tipped the nuc on it's side and the bees began marching into the box on their own. This was a good indicator that the queen was already inside.
Yup...there she is; just to the left of the pointer. Can you see her?
It bears repeating that there were a LOT of bees.
I shot two short videos of the bees. My apologies for the size of all these pictures but I am still without my computer and no photo program to reduce file sizes. The clip below shows the nuc box on it's side with the bees marching in. They don't waste any time.

This clip is sadly primarily out of focus, but look past all that to spot a little bee wiggling his abdomen. This is called a "waggle dance" and is normal bee behavior after a swarm. He is signalling to other bees to come join them in their new home. They've decided to stay.

We were out last evening to move the bees into a full-sized hive as there were waaaaay too many bees to fit in that nuc. They were happily building brood chambers on the foundations for their queen to begin laying eggs to grow the new colony. A happy day for all.


  1. That is so interesting, thanks for sharing the photos and video.

  2. Wow, that is a LOT of bees!

    I'm curious, do other bee keepers ever ask if you've found one of their swarming hives?

  3. I had a large hive in my backyard. I had to call someone out to get them. They told me it was the largest one they ever came out for. Glad to have someone like you around.

  4. This is so interesting. Thanks for posting about your bees, and keep the info coming!

  5. Amazing. Love the bee adventures. Gail M.