Saturday, April 25, 2020

And now we have six

It's been an exciting week at HomeFolk Honey. Back in December, we had four healthy hives. At the end of March, we had three. I ordered a new package of bees, but the delivery date wasn't for a month.

Then, earlier this week, one of my three remaining hives swarmed. That means that the queen bee left and took about 15,000 of her friends with her. I tried to capture the runaways to put them in an empty hive here. That didn't happen.

My beekeeping mentor could hear the disappointment in my voice when I called. He'd captured several swarms this springs, so he gave me a hive to replace the one I missed.

I got a message from the apiary that sells bees that my package came in, and I could pick them up today.

Jilda and I headed to northwest Russelville, Al. just after coffee this morning. This town is near the edge of Alabama. In fact, I think if there had been a westward wind, I could have thrown a rock to Mississippi.

We picked up a three-pound package of bees with a new queen. About 10,000 bees were buzzing in the back of our SUV.

This afternoon, I installed the new package in an empty hive. When I finished, I loaded up all the beekeeping stuff on my trailer and headed toward the house. Jilda and the local volunteer fire chief were standing at the back fence.

It seems that he had a swarm in his yard. He'd seen on social media that I'd lost a swarm, so when the buzzing started in his yard, he thought of me.

Loading my gear in the pickup, I drove to the chief's house. Thankfully, this swarm was reasonably low and easy to catch.

We started the week with three hives, now we have six.


  1. That is very cool. You'll be selling honey from a road side stand soon.

  2. I love hearing your bee stories. So interesting!

  3. How exciting! I wonder if the swarm from the fire chief was the one you couldn't catch? Eh, what do I know about bees? Lol

    1. I don’t think it’s the same swarm. This one was a good bit smaller. I am still very thankful that he let me capture it.

  4. I'm with Lisa, I am not quite ready to be a BEE keeper yet but it sure sounds good. YOu are gonna have a JOB if this keeps up. It has always been a mystery to me about the Swarms, I have seen a few and to a kid it is scary at first, but after you stand around and do not get stung it is sorta wild.
    The best to you guys and the BEES.
    Sherry & jack

  5. Oh my that is a lot of bees, you're going to have plenty of honey to share. Hope they stay put now.

  6. Your bee families are going to soon become a full-time operation.

  7. Now I see, when the bees leave they are following the queen? So you have to carefully get the. Back into the box


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