Friday, April 29, 2011

swarm call

At about 2pm today I got a call from a lady about a swarm of honey bees in her mother's holly bush by the house. She said they always go there in massive numbers each year around this time. They fit the profile of what she was saying, so I drove over.

It was only a ten minute drive. What she failed to tell me was that they were LIVING in the ground all around the house and had been for years.

They were ground dwelling pollinator bees. Not honey bees. Oh, well.... I guess I have to add: "are they in the ground every year" to the list of things I ask them on the phone when they call swearing there is a honey bee swarm in their yard.

In other news, I have 7 nucs that have successfully made queens. Carni, italian and carni x italians are the types. 4 or 5 are already claimed. I would have had 10, but one froze because it was too cold and not enough bees. One went queenless and didn't make a queen, so they became laying workers. And one made a deformed queen. 

The bee yard at the house has 3 more nucs than the following picture:

I need to move the hives out to the apiary that has only 3 hives. I also need to find one more apiary location somewhere close so that I can keep 5 hives max per apiary.... That means I have 15 hives now!

This picture is of the apiary behind the airport. I have 2 more full hives there and 2 more nucs....


  1. What type of bee is a ground dwelling pollinator? Are they only in warmer climates? We get bumble bees in our yard and I think some type of wasp. Are the ones you found similar to bumble bees? I admire you for all the swarm removals you do. I saw a photograph the other day of a swarm attached to the trunk of the tree, the thing was massive. I can't imagine how you would go about removing something like that.

  2. They are pollinators like bumblebees. They dig holes and live in the ground. Think behaves like a bumble bee but looks like a wierd carni honey bee.

  3. Thanks for the info Jared! Interesting to learn about other pollinators.