Arrived at our scheduled bee removal site in Redwood City today a little before 10:30 AM. It was such a nice morning and when we parked the car we saw good entrance activity from the colony we are about to relocate.
Below the bees have just stated to swarm
While we were preparing our equipment for the job all of the sudden the colony throws off a swarm. Now thousands of bees in the air. The roof is now covered with bees landing, scattered all over but with three SMALL main clusters that just started to form. That’s where we went searching for queens and sure enough, I captured the first in the queen catcher. Asked Christophe for a cardboard box to temporarily house them in.
Then I went around looking for a second queen. But while walking to the second closest cluster I noticed a queen a few feet away on the edge of a skylight. She flew off immediately after I spotted her. I didn’t see where she landed. Could have been in cluster #3. Anyways, I dig into cluster #2 with my dad and I found the second queen. She was running all over the place but eventually caught her. Asked Christophe who asked his wife Delphine to get yet another box to house this second swarm.
Queen cells. Upper one the queen has already emerged. The one below is still capped.
I left swarm number three for my dad to check out while Christophe and I started removing the metal roofing. Then all of the sudden my dad brings up my homemade queen catcher, as we now ran out of queen catchers, and said he thinks he caught a queen. I examine the bees inside and sure enough, queen #3!!! And we haven’t even cut into the original bee colony yet. Asked for a third box and again housed these bees.
I believe all three of these queens are virgins that just swarmed this morning, perhaps one before I arrived as there was already a cluster on the roof, and then two more when I arrived. These queens are small but large enough to not escape through slits on the queen cage.
Pictures and more details on my blog: http://losaltoshoneybees.wordpress.com/