So, Mikel and I were working in the yard on Saturday when a friend who stopped by says, "What are your bees doing?" We turn around and sure enough - swarming! While it was very cool to watch, sooo many bees in the air, it was very frustrating. We immediately starting tanging, and sure enough they landed pretty quick and in a tree only about 10 yards distant . . . but 100 feet up! :shock:
This was Hive Number Two that was sooo tiny a few weeks ago. Evidently they DID have a queen and evidently she was quite productive. This is the biggest swarm I've ever seen. It has to be 2 feet long and it's thick - I would guess between 6-8 lbs though I'm not experienced and suck at volumes. It is seriously HUGE. And still there! It hasn't moved as of this morning. We've set boxes all over our and our neighbors back yards with lemon grass and comb and have our fingers crossed, but I am not hopeful. I just hope they move into a tree and not a house! Mikel keeps asking me how long they will stay there, so -
How long will a swarm hang out in a tree? I thought they only had like 3 days of supplies?
I took 2 little splits/nucs out of Hive Number One subsequently. They were full of queen cells. I tried to find the queen to simulate a swarm, but couldn't for the life of me find her. So I pulled a few of the frames with queen cells and some other frames to create 2 nucs and left a few queen cells and am hoping for the best. I'm hoping I put enough bees in with the nucs. Is 3 frames full of bees enough? I'm thinking maybe I should shake some more into them.
Sigh, I seriously thought with the cold and rain they needed more time to build up, but once again, they shocked me with the speed and caught me off guard. Maybe I'll get the timing right next year :(. I'm definitely going to start taking the time off work to work the bees when they need it, instead of trying to work them only when the weather is right on the weekends. They just don't wait!
Anyway, I am a frustrated and sad beekeeper feeling like a bee-haver today :(.