Got a phone call from a friend yesterday evening watching bees swarm out of her tree. Took us more than an hour to get there, but we got it. Our first one ever.
You can see the size of the swarm here next to Eric's head. How many bees is that? Looked to be the size of a football...
It was about 15 ft above the parking area. Had to put the ladder on top of the cab of the truck. Eric took a few pings to the hand after the first hard shake into the bucket.
My daughter took the pics while we dealt with the bees. This is me looking for the queen. [Never found her, but the bees were fanning like crazy so we're confident we got her.]
We put the swarm in a tall bucket with a frame of comb I had smeared with a tiny bit of lemon grass oil. I clipped the branch back into the bucket as far as I could. To close it up, we bungeed a cloth over the top for transport home. 50 minute drive home.
It wasn't as dark as these photos look. Put the bees in the other end of a horizontal hive that already had a nuc at the far end. [Not enough boxes! Need more boxes! Geez. How many of us sing that song every year?!] I poured the first batch of bees into the frames, then put a super over them.
I put the branch in the super over the frames and put some honey balls in with them. The girls seemed really happy to be there. [It's been raining for days and they had swarmed 1/2 hour after the weather cleared. Didn't give themselves much time to find new shelter before dark, so I'm hoping they think we did them a favor and they'll get comfortable really fast.]
A couple of questions:
I closed up the bottom entrance of the hive but left the little top one open, inner cover notch turned down. How long before I open the bottom? How long before I check for eggs? I put several honey balls in with them when we installed them. Should I open the top and drop more honey balls in there today?
I guess I'm asking, 'Now what?' Proceed like a package?
A note about honey balls - -they're messy, but EASY and the bees love them. My youngest doesn't really love the bees but she'll do stuff like make honey balls, which she had ready for us by the time we got home with the bees. She actually brought them out to us and then stuck around to watch the installation - including standing right over the hive to watch the fanning. Magic honey balls. I'm a huge fan.