2019 Swarm Recap

I made a fun little video of some of the swarms I collected in 2019. Some people think there are no bees in their area, so they think they can’t be successful acquiring swarms. This isn’t true. You just have to be motivated to go out there and get them. Swarm trapping is great, and I do that too, but getting my name out there with business cards and “word of mouth” gets me a ton of new bees to play with every year.

Spotted lanternfly “flow”

If you’re from the East coast of the United States, you know about the recent invasion of the spotted lanternfly from China. It is causing all kinds of problems here. I live at ground zero for the pest, as it was first discovered just a few miles from here. Some places, they fly across the road while you’re driving like an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I recently noticed my bees lapping up their sugary waste products, which rain down from the trees and collect on leaves below. Spotted lanternflies are very similar to aphids, only much larger. The excrement of aphids is called honeydew, and bees have been known to collect it and produce a honey-like substance. It seems that lanternfly waste is similar in composition, because I discovered my bees collecting it excitedly, along with bumblebees and butterflies.

While inspecting some colonies today, I could see the uncapped “nectar” of these bugs. It was as black and shiny as motor oil, and filled every available cell. This is a brand new thing for me, so time will tell how this odd source of sugar affects the bees, and whether spotted lanternfly “honey” will be a hit.

The end of the “Spool hive”

I had suspected that this colony was unsuccessful requeening itself after swarming 2 months ago. The activity had declined noticeably over that time. Now they are being robbed at 6am by several colonies on my yard. Once the event is over, it will give me a chance to take the spool apart and see what’s inside. Thankfully, I have many descendants of the original queen that came along with this colony, including the atleast 2 year old queen herself in a booming healthy colony.