Monday, March 12, 2012

Swarm Cells

Just what no beekeeper wants to find in his beehives swarm cells. There were 5-6 of these on the bottom of the second box in my hive on Sunday.  I was giving my girls a powdered sugar treatment of varroa mites. I had to share with you this photos of  these 5 girls working on this swarm cell. Hoping they will stay put until Thursday, when we are doing a small split, by setting up a 5 frame nuk with a few frames of bees. The reason I'm doing a nuk is I want the rest of these bees to make lots of honey this spring. If they swarm half the bees will leave, then no honey this year.

I found this Pickerel Frog along the driveway on Sunday, it posed nicely and was in no hurry. When they call in the pond it sounds like squeaky leather on a saddle.
Meg pointed out to me, the dog swimming pool now has 2 kinds of eggs in it. The larger ones I'm certain are Spotted Salamander, the other are likely Upland Chorus Frogs. We have been hearing them a lot in the swimming pool.

Meg's school got a lot of small shrubs from the Agricultural Building next door. The whips have been in bags at the back door. Sunday she planted 29 - 3 gallon pots with  Swamp Dogwood, Elderberry, Crab apple and mulberry. We have no space here for any of these, I have no idea what she is going to do with them. Living in the woods on a slope, non of these would thrive here, too much shade and very dry. Any of these plants interest you, PLEASE come take some.

Sunday we planted the new hellebores and other plants. Also uncovered all the cold frames, weeded them and planted seeds, mustard, Simpson Lettuce, Bok Choy. The peas are 8-9 inches tall now, somebody nibbled one end of one trellis. The compost I bought at the landfill is already half gone.


Caroline Gill said...

Wonderful photos, Randy. I hope all's well in the hive!

We have a lot of toads crossing the road at present. Fortunately the council have built a toad tunnel near us to allow them to reach their breeding pond in safety. Others, some miles away, were being helped across by a man in a fluorescent jacket, just as it was getting dark.

Kitty said...

Oooo. I forgot you can get compost at the landfill.

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

I found a green tree frog the other day when I was spreading some mulch. Such a cute fellow. I love listening to the frogs. Sounds like you have a good crop coming in. I just planted some seeds hoping for a harvest before the summer heat kicks in. Good luck with your bees!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Randy, Swarm cells? Did I miss reading about what they are? And a nuk? (my oldest used a Nuk pacifier as a baby)
I wish I lived closer, would love a few elderberry shrubs...had some in VA and enjoyed them.

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Nell Jean said...

Great post. I never knew about swarm cells. Interesting, those bees around the cell, patting it into shape.

So much going on now. My regular visitor is a little hognosed snake/spreading adder about a foot long. He just lies still when I approach, with his 'adder head' in the air.

Skeeter said...

Bees buzzing, Frogs talking, Stained Glass, Beautiful Blooms, Spring Veggie Harvest, New pots,Purple Chairs and a new deck in the makings! Wow, you have a lot going on... enjoy Spring!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Last year our monster hive, Salvia, kept a few of those Queen Cups as a sort of 'hive furniture' throughout the peak nectar flow season. I was concerned when I first found them, but they seemed to build them up and take them down again. This spring though, the ones we found I expect they intended to use, as that hive was wall-to-wall bees before split it. So far, your Queen cups look empty, but with swarm season upon us, that certainly could change, quickly. Will you keep your nuc as an extra hive, or sell it?

sweetbay said...

I wonder how many different kinds of frogs we have. They've bee singing since Jan.

What would cause the hive to be making swarm cells already? Just growing fast?

tina said...

I like those pickerel frogs and have had at least one here. I'd love to take some whips off your hands but it is much too far to travel:( The bees are so cool. I hope they stay put and you get tons of honey this year. Thanks for the ID of the slider. I'm glad because I'd hate to think of a pond area full of snappers. Yikes!

Cyndy said...

Swarm cells - that can't be good - good luck with managing your girls! I need someone to look at the bubbles in my pond - thought they were all frog eggs, maybe some salamanders are in there too!

Carol said...

Fascinating Randy! What clever builders they are. I hope all works out for you. Swarming is just a natural urge for them . . . keeps them feeling young! ;>)) Love seeing this fabulous photo of your girl's swam cell. Good Luck! Great frog portrait too. There is so much activity and life around you and Meg. Happy Gardening!

Sam Smith said...

If those queen "cups" have something in them eg, larva then they will turn into swarm cells or supersedure cells, if they are empty they might stay that way, bees will make several of those cups for later.

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