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My first swarm call for 2020 — The Grow Network Community
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My first swarm call for 2020

tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Beekeeping

I received my first swarm call yesterday. The swarm was about 15 miles away and high in a tree, so decided to pass on the opportunity. I am certain there will me more calls. Like the first blossoms of spring, things are just starting

Comments

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    Can’t believe you got one already. Bees are just building up their numbers here in Pennsylvania. Looking forward to the spring season. Hope you get as many calls as you care to handle. Good luck and stay well.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly Our daughter lives in Nebraska and wants to start beekeeping next year, so I am hoping to get 2 strong hives to take to her this winter so she can be ready for the new adventure. You stay well as well.

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @tomandcara good luck. Always happy to hear of another convert. Top bar hives? Slowly convincing my kids they should get some, rather than come to dad for their honey. Good luck and you and your family stay well.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly Yes topbar hives. She has worked with me with my hives and is familiar with them. She can't beat the start up cost since she pretty much will only need to get a veil, smoker, a hive tool and some 3-5 gallon plastic buckets with lids. 20 + years ago when I took my first beekeeping class, the instructor said if you are thinking about beekeeping as a money generating hobby, think again. Do it for the love of the bees and nature.

    Have your kids helped work your hives with you? Do they live close enough that you can be their mentor? My daughter has dreamed of keeping bees for years . She and her husband bought a house late last year and now that she has her own yard, she can make that dream a reality. My son has never shown interest in the bees and I can't imagine that will ever change,

    On the other hand, my daughter has always been more connected to nature , herbs, health and gardening. She took the Master Gardener program this year in Omaha. COVID affected the last part of the series and her volunteer time.

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @tomandcara here too. Can’t do any of our volunteer time either, aren’t allowed to even work in our education gardens. Yes my kids are close enough so that when they need help I get a call. They try to limit that now. My youngest daughter is an earth child. Everything natural and organic. Wants me to set up some hives for her. So as soon as I get the go ahead ready to go. I have two boys and they are both interested, have worked with me a bunch of time with my bees. They help whenever they can. Love to see what I am growing in my yard. Grandkids love coming to grandpas farm. Let them pick and eat whatever they want.

    Might put together a top bar hive and give it a try. Sounds like you will have a great time setting her up. Wish you both the best of luck.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly sounds like you have a good potential to get all 3 working bees . Let me know if you have other questions about topbar beekeeping.

  • JensJens Posts: 555 ✭✭✭✭

    @tomandcara exciting times. I would have past on that one too. Not worth risking your health climbing into trees for bees.

    Got one swarm call this week too but the swarm already had left when I was there.

    But as you said there will be more to come.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    @Jens 20 years ago I was climbing trees to collect swarms. Not so much now, but never say never again. I will just say probably not.

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @tomandcara been there done that. Don’t bounce so well anymore. Got a call from my brother in law. He had 3 dying trees taken down so they wouldn’t hit his house. After the half dead beech tree hit the ground, a lot of angry bees came out. So he called me to come take a look and see if I wanted them. They were up about 30 feet in a hollow knot in the tree. Pouring rain today, so if it isn’t too bad tomorrow will transfer them to one of my hives. Been researching top bar plans and think I will build one and have it available for anymore that I get. Will post some pictures as I open up the tree and remove the bees. Love it when I can work on the ground. Stay safe.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly There are many topbar plans available now. I use the Hardison hive plan, It as served me well for 20 years and Mart Hardison for 40 years, Personally I think that many of the newer plans have much too steep an angle. If I were starting now and had Langstroth hives, I would make a long hive with the same width as the langstroth an same depth as a deep. This would allow an interchange between the topbar hive and the langstroth

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,508 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am happy there are people like you who will go to rescue a swarm before a pest control company is called in.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl a GOOD pest control company will have beekeepers in the data bank and call them for honeybees. They will also know the difference between a honeybee and yellow jackets, hornets, wasps etc. and won't call a beekeeper for anything other than honeybees

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @tomandcara been checking the horizontal hive out so can use the langstroth hives that I already have. So many choices now. Compared to when I got started. Excited about the upcoming season. Will keep you up to date. Thanks for all the tips.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly To me the horizontal hive makes lots of sense . You can do the topbar approach . In my opinion and based on my experience the bees are going to attach the comb to the sides of the hive no matter what angle you make the sides. A horizontal hive will be easier to make than other topbar designs because you don't have to deal with angles other than 90 degrees.

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    @tomandcara see that. Also figured I could still use my honey extractor. Just trying to be practical with what I have. Anymore swarm calls? Stay well and your family.

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 708 ✭✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly no calls yet. Check out the video link @Jens posted yesterday on "a year with my bees" about sustainable beekeeping. it is paradigm shifting

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