Got a call this morning from our township treasurer, asking me if I wanted a swarm of honey bees at her neighbors across the bay on their lake. I asked how large, she said basketball sized. I said sure, be right out.
Got to the site and it was a nurf football sized sized swarm. The owners said it was about half the size it was earlier. Also got a little more history on this swarm. The showed up Wednesday and were much larger than they are now. They were in a nearby trumpet flower tree. They flew off on Thursday and were back on Friday. I found the swarm on a small wild rose. Sprayed them with some sugar water and cut it off and shook it into a full deep, which was way too big, but I only brought one box based on their description. I did look around and did find a queen. Not huge, maybe a virgin, but not fuzzy. I also noticed some bees back in some swamp bushes. Got in there and found a fresh 5 inch diameter comb on a branch and a few bees on it. Cut that off and shook the bees in the hive and placed the comb inside and the branch in front. The bees were very gentle.
I had to run home and whip up an all season inner cover, so I could easily feed baggies of 2:1 syrup. Made some syrup up and headed back. The bees were settling nicely into the hive and were starting to come and go a bit. I put on the new inner cover and saw maybe two frames of bees on the fresh foundation. Put 2 quart baggies of 2:1 syrup in the inner cover and talked to the homeowner some more.
It sounds like there are a number of bee trees in the area, so this means these bees are feral. Kewl. I know of no other beeks in that area. I guess in the spring a couple of tree are loud with bees. One tree did come down last year and they found an old hive in it, but it was abandoned.
I am going to leave the hive there for a couple of days for the bees to settle in. Wish I had got some pics but forgot the camera. I am just like JP when he finds the queen. I was so giddy finding her. I also sure appreciate JP's videos. I felt pretty confident about all of this.
Now it is feed, feed, feed.
One question. Will bringing them back to my apiary of 10 hives, start a robbing frenzy?