My New Favorite Swarm
Okay, so never mind about having to coax the bees into their new home. I think they’re my new favorite swarm (don’t tell the others!) They are industrious, and had built about 3″ of comb in 36 hours in their box. They are hardy, and I counted only maybe 6 or 7 dead bees left after installing the swarm. They are mellow, if a bit easily confused and prone to circling about WAY up in the air trying to figure out what’s going on. And apparently they read the How To Swarm manual before they started —
They settled in one clump on a low enough branch that I could easily reach them from the bottom step of a short ladder. They obligingly went “thump” into the big box and didn’t cloud up out of it, and later the small cluster left in the tree formed a cloud, zeroed in on the box, and they all went inside it and left it easy to tape up. They didn’t climb all over me or buzz angrily in my face, though they did check us out thoroughly. Tonight when we poured them out on their “porch”, they discovered the doorway rather quickly, though probably somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 of them remained in the box. Two hours later, the box was entirely empty except for two or three dead bees, and there were only a couple hundred bees on the front of the hive waiting their turn to get in.
Hope they continue to be such a textbook set of bees! Tomorrow I’ll offer them some honey water (which means we’ll have some other bees partaking from the other two nearby hives, but that’s fine), and hopefully they’ll settle back in as quickly as they did in their Home Depot box!