Shreve Family Swarm Removal

We did an interesting swarm removal for the Shreve family in Westlake on September 11, 2017.  The bees were in a difficult location.  They were in some vines on a fence.  We tried to cut out some of the vines, but we still couldn’t get to them.  The fence and the vines were sturdy so we couldn’t shake them into the box.  Kenny had to reach in and grab handfuls of them.  They moved around on us a couple of times.  At some point we managed to get the queen in the box and the other bees just marched right in after her.  It was a beautiful sight!  It was getting dark on us and we were afraid we wouldn’t get everyone.  We were very lucky.  We checked the hive yesterday and we were happy to see that they are doing very well.

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Our First Swarm Removal

On Sunday, September 10th we attempted our first swarm removal.  It was definitely a learning experience!  The bees were located in a pine tree on our road in Fields, LA  (the REAL Bearhead Creek).  The owners of the property, Kristin and Demp Suchanek, gave us permission to remove the bees.  The first thing we learned was that it was a little too windy to try to move the bees.  We had to wait a while for the wind to die down before we finally got them.  The bees also swarmed on us twice.  Just when we thought we had them, they would fly out again.  We did finally get them and they are home with our other hives.   We have so many questions to discuss with our more knowledgeable and experienced beeks.  Our Bearhead bees act a little different than our other bees.  Hopefully this is not an indication of how Bearhead bees behave.  If so, we are going to be in trouble.

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The Buzzz About Bees

Our main focus for Bearhead Creek Farms this year is bees.  Kenny and I are taking a beginning beekeeping class through Lamar (Orange) Leisure Learning.  Our class is taught by Brian and Tammy Muldrow of Muldrow Bee Farm.  We will have both classroom and apiary instruction.  Our class meets once a month in the classroom and once a month in the apiary.  It will last an entire year.  We purchased a hive from the Muldrows to use during class.  At the conclusion of the class we will have experienced beekeeping through all the seasons and transitions of the hive.  We will move our hive to our house after the class is over.  So far in class we have discussed personal protection equipment, tools for the job, the hive, foundations, frames and bee space, bee biology, description of the bee body, caste system of bees, comparison of bee roles, and the life cycle of honeybees.

On April 15th, we joined our other classmates at Muldrow Bee Farm in Beaumont.  We sat around the fire and had an open discussion.  The students were able to ask any questions they had about beekeeping.  We observed the bees earlier in the evening to get an idea of how active they were at that time of day.  Later in the evening we took another look and noticed a significant difference in the bees.  Most had returned to the hives.  We selected our Nucs and taped up the entrances to the hives.  They were then loaded into the back of a truck and moved to our class apiary in Orange.

Once in Orange, we prepped the ground with liquid soap.  Then we lined up the nucs.  We stood in front of our nuc and waited for the go ahead to remove the tape.  Everything was very organized so that we minimized the chance of someone getting stung.

We’ve purchase additional bee boxes and equipment.  We are learning how to assemble our boxes, frames, and foundations.  Our class is very interesting.  We can’t wait to learn more about bees and to work in the class apiary!

 

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