We caught a swarm on Thursday evening. The swarm was from our own bees at the Urban Horticulture Center. I did not think of getting my camera out until we had bumped the swarm into a 5 gallon bucket and poured the bees into a waiting hive. Here the bees on the inner cover of the hive are scent fanning, rears in the air and wings going like mad, to call the rest of the bees to the hive. The queen is inside the hive and the rest of the bees in the swarm are being informed of her whereabouts.
Almost all the bees are in the hive now. It is time to put the cover on the hive and to place the hive where we want it. The old queen will be in the hive with the swarm. The hive where the swarm originated will be raising a new queen. She will hatch within about 5 days. The new queen will then need a 70 degree day to get out to mate.
Bees in a bird house:
This cute little bird house belongs to friends of mine, J&B. It fell out of the tree where it was hanging and B went to pick it up and was quite surprised (understatement) when bees came pouring out. In general, we do not handle bees for people other than honey bee swarms but for close friends with bees in a bird house we do make exceptions. We were in a time crunch because we needed to be at a high school graduation so my husband with his bee suit on popped the whole bird house into an empty bee hive and left the hive sitting in J&B’s yard so the rest of the bees could find their home that evening. My husband described the bees as fat and fuzzy. He knew they were not honey bees but did not have time or leisure for further identification.
After the graduation, we raced back to change clothes and retrieve our hive with unidentified bees. We plugged the entrance to the hive, strapped the hive together, took it home in the back of our pickup and left it there until morning. This morning, we located a place in a tree in our yard for the little bird house, suited up and placed the bird house in the tree.
The bees are a small bumble bee. I am glad that we saved them because we need native pollinators as well as the honey bees. I will try to get a picture of one of the bumble bees.