Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bee Swarm....or not

This morning Papa Bear came down to the garden and picked me up on the golf cart to look at something.  It was one of our bee traps that I have not checked on in a few days.  This is a new one on me.  Maybe Pioneer Preppy can explain it.  The bees have built comb underneath the trap.

We watched it a few minutes and watched bees come in and out of the traps entrance but never saw any land on the comb.

I thought we had a swarm so I went to the shed and got the brood box my son sent me last year for my birthday.  I had promised him to name it the CHAD Colony for the grand kids the next time I caught a swarm.

The C is for my granddaughter, the H is for another granddaughter the A is for "And" the D is for my grandson.  I got this painted and set up and went back to check the swam trap.  My plans were to get the trap early evening when most of the bees were back in for the night.

I don't see any activity.  I walked under the trap and lifted it to see if there was any weight to it.  If there was it was not much.  A bee did come out of the entrance to greet me.  I watched it a few minutes and did not see the activity I saw earlier so I don't know if I have a swarm or not.  I still plan on taking it down this evening and having a peek. I am befuddled...maybe the bees are playing an April Fools joke on me!


  1. Yep, time to call PP, and let him send spread his knowledge.

  2. I would say you had a swarm and it went somewhere else. If I had to bet I would say it was too big for the trap but swarmed on it and was thinking it over while the young bees started making comb. I have seen swarms make comb on tree limbs and such often. The young bees in the swarm are geared for comb making they can't help themselves so if the swarm stays in one place very long they start building.

    Just a guess but I would bet money that's what happened. It was prolly a huge swarm and couldn't fit in the trap. Then it found another home and moved on.

    Take that comb off and put it inside a trap as an extra attractant.

    1. Well crap...It is for sure empty and it was probably my bees that swarmed. I also heard a swarm come over the house a week or so ago. I was hanging humming bird feeders on the porch and was in a position that I couldn't look right away so I don't know what direction they came from or what direction they went. Papa Bear and I looked all around the property hoping to see them bearding somewhere but we never saw or heard them. I was late getting my traps out and baited. I hung 3 more today. I got to catch me some more bees. I don't have any luck splitting my hives.

      Thanks for the info PP!

    2. MB - MY advice to you is build some bigger traps. Those ones you are using are fine for small swarms but bees like a larger volume box. One a bit larger than a standard full sized super is what's recommended but I have seen swarms that needed even larger traps.

      I try and make an assortment and have a small and a large one close to each other sot he swarms can choose.


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