The Student becomes the Master

Last year I managed to interest my dad in the way of the bees.
Having kindly produced some new warré boxes for me I sent my dad back with a top bar bait hive to try out on the roof of his shed. lo and behold within a few days some bees turned up. These bees were passed on to a natural beekeeper in his area (250 miles to my apiary was a little too far).

This year he decided to knock himself up some warré boxes and put them on the roof of his shed to try his luck again. Following weeks of telephone conversations asking me about entrance sizes, lure types and amounts, the direction the hive should face and updates on “interest” from honey bees in the area this happened.

20150511_144948

They moved in last monday just after my parents returned home from a weekend visit to me in Yorkshire. They look to be the same bee strain he caught last year so may well be from the same apiary and from the look of things almost certainly a prime swarm. It is still a little early for swarms in my area so I am in all honesty a little jealous. He is currently trying to decide how much management he would like to perform. He is considering running this as more of conservation hive but for the time being is just enjoying watching them fly.

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5 Responses to The Student becomes the Master

  1. michelenel says:

    Wow, that is amazing. I met a lady last year who obviously lives in a great spot for swarms because she has had three in one year arrive without any encouragement. Apparently it may have something to do with magnetic fields and lay lines or some other unknown ‘bee only detectable’ thing. I hope he enjoys them so much he continues. We are natural bee keepers and love it when a swarm is saved and allowed to prosper. 😄

    • deweysanchez says:

      I really doubt lay lines exist let alone affect be behaviour. A species so in need of ideal locations cannot afford to be choosey. The main influencing factor is the presence of a bee colony ready to swarm. I do however think weather patterns will also influence them at different times of the year.

  2. solarbeez says:

    It’s a real ‘heady’ feeling when a swarm picks your hive as their home. It’s happened again to me twice this year alone. It’s possible that one of the reasons the bees choose my hive is the little piece of honeycomb I put in…and I’m not above using lemongrass oil. 🙂

  3. Julie says:

    What a fantastic swarm! I’m so excited for your dad! Can’t wait to hear updates on his hive and his beekeeping experience.

    • deweysanchez says:

      Thanks Julie. It was certainly sizeable. What you see there is the tail end. He is really liking having the bees there and as we all do he finds himself just standing and watching them work. Though since the hive is on the roof of his shed this may involve a step ladder. On my instruction he left a bar out in the bottom box to encourage the bees in. I suggested he put the bar in the day after the bees moved in. He said he would probably leave it until I visited nearly two weeks later. I said “Well there is a good chance with a swarm that size that they will fill the top box within the first week. If that happens they will build that comb down into the bottom box… but you might be alright”.. he heard “…you might be alright” and left it. When I visited just 12 days after the swarm had arrived they were most certainly already in the second box and my dad found himself having to cut through the new comb hanging down, much to the bees dislike. Suffice to say his “lovely calm bees” were seeing him off from his work in the shed for a few days after that.

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