Ray and B,
Ok, I'll try to pass along some of the queen spotting advice that Schawee gave me....
First, you don't look for just the queen...In other words, you're not looking for "a bee". But instead just watching and observing all the bees...if that makes sense! You'll pick up on how she's moving through the crowd...It looks like she's moving with a purpose and a little attitude. :-D
The second piece of advice that really works nice that I used on swarm #8 was to shake the swarm into a large cardboard box...something with a big bottom. I used a box that was probably a foot and a half by three feet with maybe 8 inch tall sides. With the queen in the box, the bees stay put and aren't interested in going anywhere. You can take your time and just watch them as you try to find the queen. They'll spread out nicely over the entire bottom and crawl up the sides making it easy to observe the entire swarm. Every now and then, lift the tabs of the box straight up and give the box a little bump on the ground, knocking all the bees to the bottom of the box and in essence, resetting the viewing process. Schawee also taught me that there's no hurry, you can just take your time and keep doing this till you spot her. I think realizing that there's not a clock running in trying to spot her actually makes spotting her quickly more likely.....it takes the pressure off. :)
My nephew who helps me with my bees and had never even seen a queen bee in person spotted her yesterday using this technique in probably under 2 minutes....needless to say, he was fired up! :-D
I hear you, if there aren't pictures...it didn't happen. LOL! :laugh:
Unfortunately, no pictures of Swarm #7, I actually forgot to take one before I started vacuuming. Thought about it while I was vacuuming and started to try to snap a pic one handed but then the guy from the plant thought I was using my cell phone, which is obviously a plant "no-no". It was loud, he wasn't close...I figured it wasn't worth trying to explain. :)
#8, I held the box and Eason (my nephew) actually did the shake...no one left to film. :( However, I caught a brief video of them when they were swarming and had started but not completely finished landing. Love the sound!Swarm landing!