Tuesday, 22 August 2017
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So today I picked up a small swarm of bees in a Zone 3 area. These were tough bees. How tough? The swarm was about the size of two fists. They had been hanging in this willow tree for four days through heat and rain and chilly nights. These girls were so rough that they were drawing comb on the stems and leaves of the tip of a willow tree branch apparently not wanting to bother looking for a hollow tree. They already had some complete cells made and while I was capturing them, foragers were coming back with pollen! I explained to them it would be hard to find fleeces in their size and then summarily cut the branch with my pruning shears while holding it and then lowered them into a nuc box. Apparently they took my advice to heart and settled in pretty quickly. I drove home, put them in a solid 5 frame nuc box with a food patty and a sugar bottle and when I checked on them just before the storm arrived they were already sending out foragers. Tough bees - they should make good breeding stock in the spring!!!
Sound hardy time will tell
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