Today was such an adventure. A swarm of honeybees landed in a tree right by our house, not 20 feet outside our door. Since we didn’t have to go anywhere, I was able to take a LOT of pictures.
In the tree (about 10 feet up)
A closer look
Stephen climbing up to cut the branch the swarm is on
Finding the queen
The queen (can’t really see her here, but she’s in there)
Marching into the box
There were so many bees!
They were everywhere!
About three hours later, most of the bees were in the hive
A view with the observation window open
While most of the bees went right into the top bar hive, there was still a fairly large clump of bees in the bushes. They fell there when the branch was first cut. From their behavior, we’re not sure if there’s a second queen in there or if they just never joined the first group. We’ve heard of swarms with more than one queen, so we’re hoping that’s the case here. Stephen set a 5 frame nuc there with bait inside to see what they’d do, and by dusk, they were marching right into that hive just like they did the top bar hive. We’ll know more tomorrow when it’s light out again and Stephen can go into the hive.
We have had three traditional Langstroh hives. Stephen has been experimenting with one of them, trying to see if the bees in it will move into a top bar hive. It’s been fascinating to watch, but that’s another post for another day. We also have a full size top bar hive, but haven’t had a chance to use it until now. We were waiting to either buy a package of bees or catch a swarm. . .and here God sent us a swarm.
It was a very interesting afternoon, to say the least. I even suited up and went out to take pictures. I got some neat video too but can’t seem to find the program on my computer I always used to edit video with. . .so until I find something, the videos will have to wait.
We’ve been praying for a swarm call, but this was even better. We didn’t have to go anywhere!