Swarm Season Is Here

We are at the beginning of swarm season here in Cincinnati.  As the nectar flow strengthens the bees will start to produce swarm (queen) cells.  

What is swarming?  Swarming is the natural way bees create more hives.

When a swarm leaves the hive they cluster on a near by structure (tree, bush, deck, etc.).  The swarm then sends out scout bees to find a new location for them to live.  This is when we typically are able to catch them.

 Why is it important to help relocate them?  Sometimes  these swarms can end up in a location they are not welcome (school yards, sheds, house soffits).  When this happens some people are unaware of the importance of bees and can end up spraying them with insecticides, killing them.

What do you do if you see a swarm?  If you see a swarm, remember they are calm and are just looking for a new place to live.  Be kind to them and call an experienced beekeeper to relocate them.  You can help by sharing this information with friends and family to educate them.

Want to see what it looks like inside of a hive when it swarms? Click HERE to see how our observation hive swarmed last season.  At the end Cory was able to catch the queen as she was coming out to relocate them.

What happen next?  This particular hive was interesting to watch.  They attempted to swarm 3 times but the last time we were able to catch the queen and then do a split.  Click HERE to see what it looked like when we opened it up.

Want to see what a swarm looks like as it forms on a tree branch?  Click HERE to see this hives first attempt at swarming.  They landed on a tree branch before they decided to go back into the hive.

If you are in the Cincinnati area please give us a call if you see a swarm or any other local beekeeper.

Here we spotted swarm cells in a hive and knew they were ready to swarm.

Getting Ready for Spring

Wow! It's crazy to think that Spring is just around the corner. Before you know it, there will be buzzing in the air.  Whether you are a veteran beekeeper or just a new-bee, that sound will soon be music to your ears.

In preparation for spring, we have put together a simple guideline to help you be prepared for the upcoming months.  If this is your first year beekeeping or just refreshing your memory we hope you find this guide helpful:

Join in:  Joining your local beekeeping association is a great way to get involved in your community and learn from neighboring beekeepers.  If you are in Ohio, the Ohio State Beekeepers Association is  a good source for events throughout the state.

Education: In the leading months to your bees arrival, reading is one of the best things you can do.  Some great books we enjoy are Backyard Beekeeper and Beekeeping For Dummies.  Classes and conferences are other great way to get information.  If you are in the Cincinnati area, our classes take place in March and the Southwestern Ohio Beekeeper School is March 25, 2017.  It fills up quickly though so make sure to sign up right away if you plan to attend.

Ordering Bees: If you haven't already done so, make sure to have your order in for packaged bees.  You can order bees from us for pick-up at our farm on April 23rd, 2017.  Packages are limited.

Equipment: Have you decided on which hive is best for you?  There are many options when choosing the type of hive you want.  From a Langstroth, Warre Hive, Top-Bar etc.  The best way to make this decision is start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is the climate like in your area? Which hive is best for that climate?
  • Where do you want to place your hives?
  • Are you able to lift boxes up to 40+lbs?
  • Do you want to harvest honey?

There are many questions to ask yourself in making your decision.   If you need help making this decision please contact us.

We sell beekeeping products here on our website as well as in our store front that is set to open in April 2017.  If you would like pre-order Langstroth hives or starter kits and pick them up when you get your bees April 23rd, please let us know.

Installation:  Being prepared for the arrival of your bees is very crucial.  If this is your first time picking up packages please read our recommendations on transporting and installing.

Please contact us with any questions you may have.  Hope you find this guidance helpful.

Cory & Krystle Gaiser