Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Fling: Swarms and Mating of a Virgin Queen

It's been a crazy week in the garden.  I finally had to draw myself a diagram to figure out who was where. This doesn't matter to the hive at all, I was just curious. My friend, Susan sent this beautiful beekeeping journal from the Savannah Bee Company to me last year. I use it to keep track of what is going on.

So after both hives swarmed last week, then the blue hive swarmed again (which I didn't know could happen), I'm having lunch on the back porch yesterday when this occurred:

Looked like classic swarm behavior...

But after a few minutes I noticed they weren't moving anywhere. Within a couple of minutes they were all collecting back on the hive. Within 10 minutes it looked like this: 

Twenty minutes after it started you wouldn't know anything had happened.

It is possible that this hive tried to swarm but the queen didn't leave with them. It's also possible that the virgin queen, flew out on her mating flight and the rest of the colon followed her. If you are trying to keep u0, this hive swarmed last week so the old queen left (now residing in the center box) and the new emerged inside the hive on the right.

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