Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Swarm and A Mess

These bees are just weird!  When I went to check on the hives Thursday afternoon I had a swarm on the rose bush fence (the same place I had a swarm before).  Wasn't sure where this swarm came from so I started checking the new bees. 
Swarm March 2016
Hive #3 was fine - queen was still in the cage and the bees had come out of the box and were working. 
Hive #2 - empty - nothing, no queen and no bees.  So I'm thinking (hoping) that might be where the swarm came from. 
Hive #1 - the bees were all still in the package box and were making foundation inside the package box.  The queen was still in her cage and workers were all around the cage so she'll be out in a day or so.  No choice but to dump the bees in the brood box.  So my good intentions of not banging and shaking the bees was shot to hell because that's exactly what I had to do.  Sprayed a little sugar syrup and banged the heck out of the box to get them inside the brood box.

Foundation made by bees inside package box
 Got the swarm using a 5-gallon bucket and sprayed them with sugar water and brushed them into the bucket.  Fortunately, I got the queen in the bucket so all the other bees went in too.  Later put them in the nuc box and shut them up tight.  Will open them tomorrow morning.

Took 3 frames with brood and bees from Hive #4 and put in Hive #2 since it was empty - there was a queen cell on one of the frames.  We'll see how this works out. 
The bees were the most pleasant little girls throughout all this opening, closing, opening again to make sure I saw what I thought I saw, and banging the heck out of the bees, etc.  I did get stung on my foot but no big deal with that.  So hopefully the temperament of these bees will continue to be good.
New Home for Swarm
The saga continues . . . .
UPDATE - evidently these girls didn't like their new home!  By Friday afternoon they were gone.  Didn't see it so no chance of catching them again.  The queen must have been released to soon with the package bees.  They need 4 days or so to get acclimated with the new queen and this didn't happen.  I must have pushed the candy out of the queen bee cage or it fell out - something happened to make them release her so early.  Well - you just live and learn.