2010-11-08 Northcote Swarm Detention Centre

Lately the back yard in Northcote has become a holding facility for itinerant swarms of bees that have been collected by the Bee Wrangler, and are looking for a new home.

As it happens, we've got just the thing.

So my backyard has become a Detention Centre for swarms.

This hive in the front was the third swarm that John provided. The day after this photo was taken (the night after they'd arrived) they took off , never to be seen again. Jazmina saw them disappear over the back fence...


The Utter hive, the second one from John. Big swarm in here, and very active since they arrived.
Good feeling about this one, strong. 

We had a look at it, the two boxes were full, almost all the comb being used, so we put another box on top, with the queen excluder under the top box.
We should move the excluder down so that there's only one box of brood, but this means we need to make sure the queen is in the bottom.
Lots of bees hanging out on the front porch, buzzing away, rain, shine or night.
What are they up to?
Are they plotting to abscond with the old queen?
Adrian suggested we improve ventilation, so we jammed some thin packers to lift the lid off a fraction.
A day later, they're still packed out the front, hanging off each other.

Iggy, Falafel, Cordelia and Sookie.

Adrian came 'round to help get the new swarm in a box,
the one vacated by the last swarm we got a couple days earlier...

and to take them up to Mt Evelyn.

John the bee wrangler had these ones for a few days, before I took them .

Adrian fired up the smoker (darn that thing's hard to get going...)

..while I offered support.

Dale, the Box Hill beekeeper taught me how to drink through the visor. No Probs.

Job done.

Jazmina holding Buffy, who has a sore foot.
Adrian checked it out while he was over.

The two new boxes of bees, on their way to Mt Evelyn.

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