Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.

Swarm calls are underway! What are you seeing? How many calls are you getting?

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Greetings, Beeks,


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).

Greetings, I have not seen any swarms yet, nor I have received any calls. But the season is just starting. The only swarm I had was my own. One of my hives up and left without notice.

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

My top bar hive has not built any queen cells thus far. I'm thinking that means I won't experience a swarm, unless I see the queen cells. Is that correct?

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! 

My best hive swarmed today around mid-day. It is still up in my Cottonwood tree. Alex dropped off 2 boxes to see if I can get them in a box tomorrow. They are 50 feet up, so hopefully they will come down. The queen is very large and the bees are more aggressive than my other hives. We'll see tomorrow!
We went to see about removing bees newly installed in a false parapet up in High Desert.  It spurred us to build another hive quickly, but with only some honeycomb and no trap, brood, or queen, I thought I'd tell you all that just for a laugh!
The same colony that swarmed on April 17th is swarming again right now. Is that unusual? I had put a super on to give the remaining bees more room. If a hive has several swarm cells, will they swarm each time a new queen leaves? They have settled in the apple tree about 16' directly above the hive. I have no more room or boxes/frames, 975-4500 if you want them.
Keep your eyes open this weekend. There are swarms EVERYWHERE! I was sitting at Dion's in Rio Rancho today at lunch and watched a swarm fly across the parking lot towards the Presbyterian hospital. Also, in the last 24 hours, I have helped capture 3 swarms... all in the backyards of friends who had hives, but had no bees. Now they are all official beekeepers. Weird coincidence.


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