Thinking About Swarms
The countdown has started. It's a little early, maybe by about three weeks but reports are trickling in that drone brood has been spotted in colonies. It's just a matter of a few warm days before they will be hatching and bee swarm season will be here.
Swarm season is when bee colonies decide to split, nature's way of ensuring a bee colony propagates itself. The old queen takes 1/3 of the bees and takes off, leaving a daughter and the remaining bees behind. Frankly, I love catching swarms, from getting the call to settling them into a new home and then waiting to see if they actually settle in.
It's still early to be talking about catching swarms but my bee buddy David and I are getting ready. We are talking about getting our cars packed, hives set up, checking supplies, bee suits cleaned. Well, David finally washed HIS suit. It's been a longstanding joke that his suit was standing because he had not cleaned it for a very long time :)
Once a call comes in, one doesn't have a lot of time to dilly dally around, it's off we go to locate the bees and hopefully get them into a box and back to a new home.
As I was walking through a local farm supply center, I ran across this garden flag with a swarm on it and smiled. It's perfect to have on the flag next to where David parks his car when he waits for me to grab my bee suit as we head out for a swarm call.
It may be a little early to be going on a call but it's never too early to be thinking about catching bees, even ones on fabric!