Our Beekeeping program has been growing fast. Mentor beekeeper Scott Maclelland, has been training PLP staff and students in lots of Beekeeping skills. Identifying brood patterns and evidence of the queen and her laying strength. Understanding the timing of beekeeping tasks as they relate to the seasons. The list goes on and on. We have been blessed with FOUR new wild swarms that we were able to capture. This Brings us up to 6 active hives in our apiary. Christian Stewart has been one of the students learning beekeeping, and he was working along with Reuben as they caught a massive swarm of perhaps 60,000 bees by hand!
When a swarm appears, you have to act fast! Here Mentor Reuben Smith and Christian Stewart prepare to capture another swarm. All of the frames and boxes and other tools have to be prepared ahead of time and standing by for the moment a swarm is spotted. A swarm is a bee colony’s way of reproducing itself. The hive decides it needs to split itself in two. They “make” another queen by feeding royal jelly to a new egg. Once the new queen emerges, the old queen takes a large group of the bees and leaves to find another home. if you can capture that cluster of bees while they are relocating, you have just added another hive to your apiary!