The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Waiting for swarms

Workers and drones

At this time of year, our move-star neighbor visits his hive every day looking for signs of swarms.  Kayla reported watching a swarm fly over her head about ten miles from our farm on April 19, and May is prime swarming season in our region.  But we haven't seen any activity in our swarm traps yet.

Watching the hiveEven hives that don't plan to swarm seem to make more drones at this time of year.  In our split hive, I've noticed quite a few male bees flying around the entrance, getting their bearings so they'll know how to come home after heading out to look for young queens to mate with.  Our neighbor's hive seemed to be equally heavy on drones --- you can see a cluster of four on the right side of the top photo, distinguishable by their big eyes.

I probably should have done this a couple of weeks ago, but I'll be adding a bit more lemongrass oil to our swarm traps today.  Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll catch our neighbor's swarm?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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