Jeff Dealing with a Swarm in Clarenville

Jeff from Clarenville, Newfoundland, dropped off some photos and video of one of his swarms from July 18th, 2011. I plan to do everything I can to avoid swarms where I live. Even though the bees are their most docile in this state, I got a feeling most people in my urban ‘hood would not react well to seeing my bees swarm like this. I’ll leave it to Jeff to tell us about it in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Jeff Dealing with a Swarm in Clarenville

  1. Thanks Phil,

    That was awsome you do some amazing editing.

    Just a quick summary for everyone. On July 8th I observed queen cells and proceeded to remove them from the colony. All I did was prolong the enevable. So all I could do was let nature take its. When I went back in and dsicovered more queen cells I selected only the best 4 to remain. On July 18th I decided to leave work early to split the colony and try a modified Demaree method to prevent the swarm as I was afraid I was going to loose the bees when they did swarm. While I was lighting my smoker this happened (above).

    As you can see I did manage to catch the girls and I was amazed to see they did not form one big clusted are you see on most Youtube videos. I managed to shake a good many bees into the deep brood box with just wax coated plastic foundation. I shold have used a frame of open brood but thats for next time. The queen landed on the top of the box and I managed to drop her in and the rest was history. Once I had all the bees knocked off the maple I carried the branch as far as I could away to reduce the pheromone scent.

    I proceeded to move this swarm about 6 miles away to a friends place, I feed this swarm for 10 days until they were in the second deep brood box and after two weeks 18 of the 20 deep frames were pulled out. I waited until the middle of August and added a medium honey super with just foundation. They started pulling that out during the flow. By Sept 15th they had one medium filled with honey and mostly capped and a second box had most of the frames drawn out and partially filled with honey.

    I proceeded to take 11 frames to have extracted for ~26 lb of honey and they rest was placed back on the colony for reserves for over the winter.

    Looking back on it I would have preformed the Demaree much sooner but as a newbie there is always the fear factor trying this. Or the second option was to allow the original queen cells to be capped. That would have added 10 days to our season and may have allowed for additional honey. But overall it worked out well.

    Thanks Phil for added this to your site. I really appreciate it and you did a wonderful job.

    Cheers Jeff

  2. Down here in the Arizona desert, and with most bees now having some “killer bee” ancestry in their family tree, non-bee folk tend to freak out at the sight of a single bee much less a swarm. At our Phoenix home, a swarm stopped for a rest stop at our patio umbrella for a couple of hours not too long ago. We kept the dogs in as they were a bit excited but, other than that, we enjoyed an excellent view from the kitchen sliding door before the scouts found a new home and the splinter hive – good term, thank you – put down new roots,

    Some “bee removal” services here try to take advantage of the fear factor – their advertising clearly plays to it. But most services have to provide many other services, not bee related, to stay in business because most full-time residents are used to the bees and pay little attention. At the pistol range yesterday there were several flying about, no doubt inspecting the fine hardware on the bench, but they bothered no one and no one bothered them. (The range is adjacent to the largest natural city park in the US.)

  3. Whoa, that’s a tall ladder. That’s my fear if my bees swarm — our trees are so tall around them, I don’t know how we’d get them. Great video, and thanks for “the rest of the story”, Jeff.

  4. We just finished dealing with our first splinter colony, shall we say? I’m glad we were home when it happened and that most of our neighbours didn’t see it. The blessed event doesn’t seem to be over just yet. I’ll write about as soon as I can.

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