Those who follow my blog know that I took a 2 year break after moving into a new home and neighborhood. It would have only been 1 year, if I had managed to catch a swarm.
Last year I decided that I would try to catch swarms instead of pay the price for package bees. I was unable to catch a swarm in any of the three hives that I set out. I believe that my failure can be attributed to two mistakes:
- Mistake number one was that I only set out five swarm traps. Everyone knows that catching swarms is a numbers game. The more traps you set, the higher the chance of catching a swarm.
- My second mistake was that I only used 5 frame Nucs for the traps. I have always had better luck with the 10 frame deeps. The reason I opted for 5 frame hives is because they are convenient to hang in the trees.
I have actually been thinking about trying the swarm trapping route again, but I don’t think I can wait another year to get back into beekeeping. If I fail to catch a swarm I waste another year. The package bees were pricey. I paid a total of $240 dollars for two packages. But the nice thing is, packages are a guaranteed way to get back into beekeeping.
I decided to buy a package of Carniolan’s and a package of Italians. If you are in a different climate, you may want to pick one or the other. Both of these breeds do well in my climate, so I want to do a side by side comparison. In my next post, I will be going over the characteristics of the two and why someone would pick one verse the other.