Why does beekeeping have to be so dang complicated?

Maggiesdad

Loving the herd life
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Once you've got her in the queen catcher securely, you take your index finger and bring the foam plunger up ever so slowly until she lines up with the slots in the blue gate. When she lands up, you bring it up another 16th of an inch to trap her in the slot and hold her securely while you mark the paint on her back. This part is best done without gloves. Workers will be moving in and out through the blue gate, because it's spaced like a queen excluder.
 

CLSranch

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Normal looking entrance behavior, bringing in pollen, orientation flights, etc.
Oct 28th
May be fall but sounds like nice spring swarm weather and activity if the hive is full. Also some hives like #2 will take more crowding than others. I'm just a beginner myself though. and my 2 cents.
 

Happy Chooks

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I finally figured out it was a usurpation swarm.

Both hives are still doing well. The manzanita, quince, wild plums, my pluot trees, camelias and dogwoods are now in bloom. Not much of a winter, but I can smell the honey when I'm next to the hives.
 
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