I dropped in on them this evening on the way home from work to check up on them. I was hoping that some of them (all) had walked the plank and gone inside the hive box. The owner let me know that there was a small cluster of bees on the ground in the grass on the other side of the bungalow. I grabbed the torch and had a look and the cluster was about a dozen bees. Nothing special except that it wasn't where I would have expected to see them. As I was watching them shift around who pops up to the top?
Yes, HRH herself. A real golden beauty. Very carefully with a pair of scissors I cut the grass underneath them and gently shuffled them onto a tray. Given what happened to me the previous night and the fact I did not have my suit with me. (I had had to wash it after the stains from the last visit
) I was unwilling to lift the lid even for 2 seconds to put her in. Instead I chose to put her on top of the lid near where it was open a touch. (I had not succeeded in sorting out why the frames refused to sit properly) The gap is large enough to let bees enter and exit which is what they started doing again. One crawled onto the lid, hopefully to investigate what the fuss was about with the cluster there. The other took off straight at me so I didn't see what the outcome was with the queen.
I noticed that the wall still had several thousand bees on it below the level of the board and they were building new comb.
1. The queen is accepted home.
2. She has now been escorted inside.
3. The bees inside the box start fanning the pheromones out from the entrance to entice the bees on the wall in.
4. The bees on the wall do actually take the hint and move over to the box.
5. The demeanor of the bees improves hugely with the queen back on deck.
I was very worried about the poor beginner being given a real monster hive so early in his beekeeping life until I found the queen in the grass. I don't know what she was doing over there, but hell, I ain't complaining after finding her.
Plan A is they all cooperate and get in the box, I seal them in and transport them to their new home.
Plan B is finishing the bee vac and removing the bees from the wall that way. I would transport them all in the vac reuniting them back at the new recipients' home.
Plan C is Taking what I have in the hive away then gassing the remainder.
Plan D is yet to be defined.
What an experience this cut out has been.