Caught my first Bee swarm on Mother’s Day. We saw all this crazy bee activity. They swarmed about 12 feet into a low Rosemary bush. The swarm wad was about the size of a softball. Obviously they had swarmed before, probably several times.
First, I checked the old hive. Empty of bees. They left a super of new empty pulled out comb, and a full super of honey! No varmints or bugs. They were not crowded. No queen cells. Why did they swarm?
I think they were just not smart bees. They kept drowning in the water buckets. There were styrofoam pellets floating for them to land on. But, they ignored them. Never had bees do that. This hive was two years old. They have had failure to thrive. We did not take any honey last year. They were not strong enough. Maybe, it is a natural selection going on – the dummies don’t survive. The multiple swarms when you aren’t crowded and no queen cells ????? Plenty of pollen and bee plants and trees around. Why would you want to leave home? And then to swarm, leaving a full super of honey? Duh! And normal bees swarm up into the trees at least 30 feet away. But, 12 feet into a low Rosemary bush! Must be some kind of defective mental capacity of this hive.
Sorry, I regressed into a rant. Back to the swarm. I set up a different hive, moved the super with new wax comb into it and the super full of honey. Took out a couple of each of the frames to have a place to dump the bees. Normally, you get a 5 gallon bucket, but a one gallon would do for this tiny swarm. Stuck the bucket under the swarm and they just fell in! So I dumped them in the new hive. Went back and there was a tiny cluster of bees left. Figured the queen was inside. We cut the branch. And dumped them in. Replaced the removed frames and closed the hive. Pretty simple! I could do a big swarm if it was not too high in the trees!
The next day, not any activity of coming and going . But, lots of buzzing going on inside. We shall see. Keep you posted.