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Swarming
Swarms and Casts
swarm collection
swarm collection
swarm collection
swarm collection
swarm collection
The swarm on the left settled on a thick branch in early May. Some improvisation with old milk crates was required to raise the hive up to the cluster. The last of the bees can be seen going in the box.
The swarm above was easily accessible in the hedge and was shaken into a bucket which was then quickly covered. The bees were then unceremoniously dumped into the hive.
swarm collection
This swarm in late May clustered on a thin branch which was cut off and placed on the traditional white table cloth in front of the nuc. Once the bees got the message they marched upwards into the entrance.
The prevention of swarms and cast presents perhaps the greatest challenge to the beekeeper. However, the swarm usually firstly settles close to the hive and allows the beekeeper to recapture the same albeit with a little ingenuity.
swarm collection
This swarm in late July managed to hide itself inaccessibly deep in the hedge but at least at the top. The bees were encouraged to move upward into a nuc box placed on top of the hedge above the swarm.
click for slideshow
The following images were taken not really intending to be a slideshow. But a large swarm had settled conveniently low down in an apple tree. The slides give a good idea of how the bees were shaken into the new brood box.
For a comprehensive discussion on why bees swarm see the articles by Peter L. Borst : The Perfect Swarm
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