Our Swarm Trap Attracted Some (of our own?) Bees – WooHoo!

Swarm Trap at Aiken Huppstead

Late last winter we hung up two swarm traps made out of double-stacked, 5-frame deep Langstroth boxes (nucs). Soon I’ll publish a how-to post showing how these traps were constructed.

In the meantime, I’m happy to report that one of them has attracted a swarm. Judging from their appearance, I suspect that these bees are actually descended from one of our own colonies that swarmed last year or the year before. One or more of those swarms very likely set up housekeeping right here in the neighborhood – probably in the collection of derelict, single-wide mobile homes that our next door neighbor pulled onto his property several years ago to use as storage.

These little ones are bringing in resources quickly, so I’m sure they’re quickly building up comb on the old empty brood frames that smell like bee, which I placed inside the swarm traps in the hopes of attracting a swarm. Since that new comb won’t be vertically aligned, and will in all likelihood eventually span across several of the empty frames, I want to get them moved as quickly as possible up to join the other two colonies on our lake property in Oconee County, and transfer them into a proper hive box. The plan is to lock them in as soon as it’s good and dark, and take them up there tonight. Then I’ll transplant them into a nuc with some frames of partially drawn comb tomorrow as soon as it gets warm enough.

I have no idea whether this swarm has a mated queen yet. If their queen is already mated so be it. Hopefully they will adapt well to the mountain locale. Even better, if she isn’t already mated, she can meet up with some of the survivor hillbilly drones that are already up there. The goal is to have inherently mite-resistant, hardy stock capable of overwintering up there without needing to be coddled. Who knows? We may even be able to steal some of their extra honey this year.

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