Sunday, May 19, 2013

"apt" or "usually"?

Bees "usually"

Listening to the more experienced beekeepers at the county beekeeping meeting, I hear what bees "usually"do.  Bees usually won't swarm their first year as a colony.   Bees usually forage as close to home as there is a large nectar source of the same kind of flower.  Bees, when they do swarm, (from only the hives of very bad beekeepers), will usually land initially on a very low branch or structure from which they may be caught.  Bees usually do not swarm to high tree branches more than 100 feet up.

me:   "Really?"
good beekeeper:   "Yes, a short ladder and bucket or a bee vacuum will be all you need.(I am serious here.  There IS such a thing as a bee vac.  Carefully used it supposedly will not damage the brain cells on your bees or someone elses' bees that you are trying to catch. )
me:    "Well, look at this on my cell phone" (from last year's swarmS)  This is my first year, in fact, two month old colony.  It is a cast swarm, a second swarm a week after the first swarm.  This was only up 75 feet or so.  The first was up well over 100 feet.  This one was brought down with a box and a lucky throw of a rope attached to a ball.
good beekeeper:   "Maybe 'apt' is a better word than "usually?"
me:   I'm apt to agree, usually.
However, it is this last one that worries me most:  Bees "almost always"--oh no!-swarm to the same spot exactly, year after year.  Now I really wish I had cut down this tree.  The loggers dropped the rest of the row, right up to this one.  I didn't know it contained enough queen scent to lure them up there again, if they swarm again.  And I am having just that kind of luck already with these particular bees.
The previous swarm was at the very top of the tree at left.

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