3 Hives makes a BeeYardMay 25, 2010
There are many ways to expand an apiary. A. You can split a strong colony and put some bees and some frames of brood and honey in another hive box and let them grow a queen. B. You can catch a swarm and put them in an empty hive box. C. You can do a cut-out, which is taking bees that have established a hive in a place people don’t want one, such as in the wall of their house. D. You can buy more bees and woodware. Or E. you can do it the easy way, my preferred manner of apiary expansion – win a hive with bees from your local beekeepers association.
Friday night I received a phone call from the President of the local beekeepers association telling me I had won the drawing for a hive. I had put my name in the drawing back in February with every intention of going to every meeting between then and now – but somehow something was always at the same time (Friday night meetings are hard for people with kids). With my name in the drawing only once I didn’t think I had much of a chance – but once is all I needed.
My fellow beekeeper, Bill, called the next day to congratulate me. He had his name and his wife’s name in the drawing probably 10 times. If these bees make honey I’ll be sure to give him some – especially since he is helped me get the hive from the donor.
While I was back at the beeyard (about 800 yards from my house) I checked the other hives. I had taken a peek on Monday and each seemed to have plenty of room, but a week later and the smaller hive was busting at it’s seams. I quickly put another box of frames on their hive. I hope they haven’t make plans to swarm – once a hive plans there isn’t much to be done except hope that you are around when it happens so you can catch the swarm and put it in another hive box (option B above). I’ll have to keep my eyes and ears open (lots of buzzing) this week.