Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.
I haven't received swarm calls but, conveniently, my own feral hive split off a swarm yesterday and we caught it to stock my empty top bar. This was in SE Albuquerque. The swarm was very calm generally but the couple times the temperature went up they started getting a great deal more active (and of course, when we were messing with them).
As new, both members and to the swarm list, we are ready with one top bar hive and building three more for bees from a couple of suppliers, a couple of lists, and our own efforts.
As a grower on several sites from Corrales through city center to far SV, specialising in edible plantscapes, fruit and nut trees, berry shrubs, and perennials, this season's good blooms and (so far) cooperative weather only highlight the paucity of bees. We started a crash alternative-pollinator program by installing orchard/ mason bees.
On a late March fruit nut roadshow to Socorro I saw a swarm already established within the roof overhang of an occupied outbuilding. They were very excited and reminded me of semi-Africanised bees I have experienced in Brasil. Patrik
3 swarm calls so far. The first, in the far NE Heights, a nice 2-3 pound swarm about 22' up in a juniper. The second a dud--guy thought he saw bees coming and going from his water control box. They may have been scouts, but twern't no bees in his box. And #3 was the stragglers from a swarm that the gent didn't notice until they were gone. Maybe 150 bees total in that one.
Just as a point of reference: We're just now going into what has historically been the peak of the swarm season here in ABQ--approximately April 15-June 1, give or take a day or two each way. Anywhere from 50-75% of my swarm calls every year occur in that period of time. That said, the number of swarm calls has dropped every year since 2007, from 66 down to 32. Maybe there's more of us doing it, maybe there's fewer bees. Joe Wesbrook
Joe, your point about the number of folks out there looking for swarms may be very apt. Not sure. The only way to track numbers would be to do a comprehensive list of everyone year by year.
Our hive swarmed on Monday. I managed to catch them, thank God. Checked today and saw eggs, so we definitely got the queen!
So, my hive here in the SE heights has swarmed THREE times! At least, I'm assuming it was my hive, since all three were in trees in my back yard :)
Caught all three, but I'm not sure if there are laying queens in the last two. The third was tonight. I hope I have some bees left in my hive!