Settlement Farm Apiary’s Whirlwind of Activity

Honeycomb at Settlement Farm. Photo by Brennan.

Honeycomb at Settlement Farm. Photo by Brennan.

May was abuzz with activity at Settlement Farm for Brennan. He reversed hive boxes to counteract the bees’ upward movement during the winter, further tweaked the arrangement, developed the annex bee yard and missed catching the bees as they swarmed at the end of the month: “Interestingly, my mother checked her notes and we had a swarm just a few days earlier the previous year.  I need to keep this in mind next year.”

Brennan goes on to comment about swarming and how to prevent it, including his own process in adding supers to each of the hives:

Bees generally swarm when they feel crowded.  They can feel crowded for various reasons, but one obvious one is that they have filled up too much of their brood next with honey and the queen doesn’t have enough space to lay.  The solution for this is to get supers (boxes with frames intended predominantly or entirely for honey production or to swarm frames full of honey in the brood next with new empty frames (either empty drawn comb or undrawn foundation, the former I believe is preferred if you think they may decide to swarm before they can draw out foundation).