Monday the house hive swarmed.
We saw them just as they gathered together.
I made 3 trips up the ladder.
While I was starting to write this today, the nuc-hive swarmed.
A couple of days ago when the rain stopped.
Just like the other swarm, we watched them starting to clump up.Guess I was feeding them too much & not keeping a close eye inside. I installed it about eight weeks ago, and thought it was to soon & they would freeze, but they made it. However, I am pleased that they did swarm. One more free hive.. They all landed in a small plum tree about 8” up.
In the meantime, I scrambled around making up 10 wired frames of foundation for this hive. The last swarm I made 8 top bars and 2 foundation & leveled it really well because I’m hoping they may want to make small cells as they are feral and the hive has been active for 30 or 40 years.. Of course I didn't have a top or bottom board made yet, so that was next. The bottom board is not screened as it was a quickie. Naturally this happened the day my #8 screen arrived at the hardware store. The top is temporary and is just a inner cover & an empty deep on top with a couple of 1qt. feeders inside. This time I just pulled the some of the center frames out and I dumped them in the hive and waited to see what happened.
In about 30 minutes there were still lots of bees outside the box. I saw a clump of bees on the sheet in front of the hive and am pretty sure I saw the queen. I picked her up & she flew out of my hand, to return shortly & land on the frame I set on the ground for them to use as a ladder. She went in & everyone soon followed. This is the first time I've seen one of my queens! Now I have four hives! & of course the two in the buildings. I hope the barn hive doesn't swarm right away, I‘m way not ready. Last year it was a really big swarm, maybe too big for my 5 frame nuc?
The barn bees I missed, maybe 12' up.
We found the queen, in the second to the last frame in the bottom deep. I think they know you are coming and the survival instinct kicks in & they run away. At least it seems that way. Plenty of honey & the workers were cleaning up the super of drawn comb we added last week. They hadn't drawn out comb on the five new frames of foundation we replaced in the bottom deep. It replaced some old black, crappy comb and frames. I'm wondering if I should switch the bottom deep with the top. This is the hive we were given last August that wasn't supposed to have any bees in it. It did, as well as about the same number of ants. I am kind of surprised they survived the winter. They had very little honey & a small population. I didn't know any better and didn't have feeders much less even know how to mix the sugar-water, so I just dumped several pounds of sugar on the inner cover. Evidently it was enough. Ignorance is bliss as they say. Which brings up the fact that the internet has been out since about 10:00am today and I never noticed it. Bliss I tell you! It's been an exciting two days.