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And then there were three...

Here are the two hives in the experimental apiary which are now populated with splits and are looking really good, and their new neighbors, the hive on the left. Yesterday a friend call to say she had a swarm sitting on her driveway. She had also called another beekeeper, who wanted to help collect it, but he didn't have enough extra equipment to take it. So, we collected it. It was probably the easiest swarm ever, literally just sitting on the driveway. We scooped it up with two bee brushes and plopped them in the box. The bees left on the driveway started marching up the side of the box. We helped them along a bit, then stood around and talked for a few minutes to let the stragglers in the air settle down into the box. By the time we put the lid on, there were just a handful of bees flying around. I had instructed my gang at home to prepare a spot and put a bottom board and hive stand down. When I got home, I just put the box down, added another one with empty frames on top and now there are three! So, two take home lessons from this: 1. Don't worry about getting bees, about three weeks ago I had four hives, now I have nine, and I didn't buy a single bee. 2. Always have enough equipment on hand to double the number of hives you currently have so you can make splits and hive swarms.

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