Swarm season is well and truly here. Bait hives are up but the ladies don’t like them. I have seen a few bees milling about checking out the empty hives but so far no takers! The ladies are very picky not every post code will suit, there is some suggestion that bees prefer to have the hives sited on ley lines if of course they actually exist!. Bees are very particular, a few feet in one direction can be the difference between acceptance and rejection of a bait hive. On Sunday May 30th when I went to do my usual inspection I thought I heard some intense buzzing looked up and sure enough there was the text book prime swarm on a low branch! I have spent a few winters reading up bees and swarm control and swarm catching but I never ever thought I would come upon the classic of all textbooks, the swarm on a low branch! No ladders needed! so it took a few minutes of stunned silence to absorb the beautiful swarm in all their glory. The bees were in a inverted triangle totally focused on the queen, buzzing away quite happily with tummies full of honey. After a few minutes of admring them in awe, it was time for action.
I went about collecting a sheet, an empty nuc box, a brush, and of course the smoker. Ah the smoker, bought some new smoker fuel from the internet and it promised the world, I will say it smells lovely but Jesus trying to light it is close to impossible! not the best day for failing to keep the smoker pumping! Any way no time left, had to get the ladies so I pulled on the suit, the gloves, the long socks and the long boots, and my trusty hygge head band in case any little bee got into the veil or worse into my hair! (The bees love my hair – there is nothing worse than an angry bee in your hair the longer they are in there the more stressed they get, and you just know you are going to get stung. Waiting for a sting is far far worse than the sting itself!) I gathered up my gear and off to tackle the swarm. ( that’s the thing about keeping bees you need a lot of spare stuff just in case!) So I placed the sheet on the ground, under the swarm, took a very deep breath in, and then knocked the bees into the nuc with one hand while holding up the nuc with the other. Wow! they were quite heavy! I mean logic says a good haul of bees is going to weigh a few pounds but when they fall into the box in heavy clumps it is quite something. The mass went into the box, not really bothered by me at all, a few angry ones buzzed around but nothing major, I put the box on the sheet, made a sort of covered walkway and just hoped the queen was in there. After a few minutes the bees knew she was in the box and so the word spread and the bees came to her in a steady- if slow stream. It was fascinating to watch it happen in real life. I stood back and let them get on with it while I rounded up the bits to make a hive. I loaded up the car and when the bees were installed and calm I closed the nuc box and wrapped the sheet over it just to avoid any escapees having a party in my hair in the car! gingerly I lifted them up and put them into the boot with some other stuff to stop them being tossed about and drove at the speed of a state funeral to their new location. I set up the hive with some food and a few frames even though best practice says an empty brood box to avoid hurting or killing bees and the queen, but I did this before and the bees moved into an empty brood chamber I got too busy at work to put in frames and sort it properly so that made life much more awkward when I had to finally set them up correctly so I said to myself I will just set in up right from the start! so I shook in the majority of bees and the remainder went in themselves, I held the nuc close to the entrance of the hive and they felt the power of the queen’s pheromone calling them and in they went in small groups over a period of about an hour. I visited the bees since to check have settled in rather than flying off and happily they are settled in their new home. They have been given varroa treatment and are away from the other hives to make sure that all are as healthy as possible. So roll on a great season of bees!!
Séasúr na saoithe linn anois!
Séasúr na Saithe!
Bhuel chuile bhliain cuirim cúpla choirceog amach ar iarraidh saithe a mhealladh. Toisc go mbím gafa leis an obair sa samhradh ní bhím I láthair do gach uile eacht a dhéanann na mbeacha. Faighim gur fearr cúpla choirceog fholamh a chur amach agus na gnáth oibreacha a dhéanamh chun srian a chur le saithe ach dáiríre má bhíonn fonn ar na mbeacha méadú bhuel ní stopfadh Dia féin iad! Ar an Domhnach bhíos amuigh ag déanamh mo gnáthiniúchadh ar na beacha nuair a chuala mé crónán láidir. D’fhéachas timpeall agus ansin ós mo chomhar amach bhí saithe ar chraobh íseal mar a bhíonn na téacsleabhar! Bhuel níor chreid mé é- tar éis na blianta a chaitheamh ag léamh faoi srianadh agus faoi mhodhnna éagsúla chun breith ar shaithe bhíodar ansan ós mo chomhair amach! Bhíodar fasicithe le chéile in aon triantán amháin ar crochadh ón gcraobh agus iad ag crónán leo a mboilg lán de mhíl agus iad go huile is go hiomlán faoi gheasa ag an mbanríon nó an chráinbheach. Bhailigh mé suas mo chuid bhalcaisí, scuab, nuc, chuireas orm mo chulaith, na stocaí fada, na buaitisí agus na lámhíní agus rugas ar an gceansaitheoir. Bhuel do cheannaíos breosla nua ar an idirlíon agus bhí boladh álainn uaidh ach Dia ár sabháil ní fhanfadh sé ar lasadh ar chor ar bith, níorbh é sin an lá do cheansaitheoir fuar!! Pé ní é bhí an t-am ag sciorradh uaim bhí orm an t-saithe a bhailiú. Le scuab I lámh amháin agus nuc sa lámh eile leagas isteach na beacha, níor thug siad aon aird orm. Bhíodar níos troime ná mar a bhíos ag súil leis! Mheasas go raibh an chráinbheach istigh agus mar sin chuir mé an bosca síos ar bhraillín agus ligeas do chuid eile an chráin a leanúint fad is a bhíos féin ag rith timpeall ag bailiú ábhar chun coirceog nua a chur le chéile! Tar éis breis agus uair an chloig bhí na beacha ar fad istigh. Dhúnas an bosca chuireas an bhraillín timpeall ar, ar eagla na heagla, líonas an chairt agus chuireas an bosca isteach sa bhuit. Thiomaineas go mall réidh chuig an áit nua. Shocraíos an choirceog, agus dhoirt mé isteach móramh na mbeach, lean an chuid eile an chráin. Chuireas isteach bia agus leigheas I gcoinne an varroa agus away liom. Inne thugas cuairt orthu arís agus buíochas le Dia tá an cuma ar an scéal go bhuil siad sona san áit nua agus tá siad scoite amach ó na coirceoga eile le cinntiú ná scaipfeadh galar Ina measc. Measaim go n-éireoidh go breá leo anois!Book Accommodation Now!