Last Friday we got some rain finally. Not much, but we will take anything we can get at this point. I was pretty sure it would cause at least a limited amount of swarming activity. Well, I was right, but things didn’t work out quite like I had hoped.
I was weeding around our back garden on Tuesday. There is a trap nearby. Upon approaching the trap I heard a familiar buzzing. It sounded like the tone that a new swarm makes upon settling in on a new home. I thought I was in luck. I wasn’t, but swarming had occurred.
After hearing the tell-tale buzzing I inspected the trap…. No traffic. There was no doubt that there were bees very close nearby. I began looking around thinking I might find them, still clumped up hanging from a branch in the large maple. This tree is a “Wolf Tree” and has been a good producer of swarms. Wolf trees always seem to produce well when a trap is hung in them. Many older people from my area have often commented that they used to commonly find bees in such trees around here. Turns out this tree that produced 3 “catches” last year appears to have taken one for itself.
I finally found them in a hollow of the tree. Perhaps they preferred a higher location than the one I had offered. I don’t know, but certainly they are newly arrived. Many beekeepers next move would be an attempt at removal. This thing is up at least 25 feet in the tree. I think I will LetMBee and enjoy observing them in their new home. I will keep you posted on their progress as time passes. The cavity they chose appears to be quite small, but it is very hard to tell from the ground.
I will look at it as another site for mother nature to work her magic with a colony of bees. Who knows if they survive, next years progeny may occupy a nearby trap. I don’t feel as though I need to catch every swarm or obtain every colony that I see making its way in the world. I look at every bee tree in my area as an extra hive. I don’t get any honey out of the deal, but the genetic diversity that can be obtained is worth more to me than honey.
If this colony is able to succeed it will be the second tree I am aware of within two miles of the house. Did it come from one of the three managed hives nearby? I don’t think so, but who knows. If one of the hives swarmed and I have given it back I am good with the transaction. A bee tree is a thing of beauty that many, even those who keep bees have yet to see. Now I have one in my back yard.
What would you do? Am I am making a mistake here? I know this audience consists of beekeepers so there must to be at least one differing opinion. Leave a comment.