I am finally getting around to posting these photos…first posted them on Facebook.
Recall a previous post on 6/29? Well, my top bar hive swarmed again. No, I still haven’t entered it. The farm’s to-do list is mighty…but enough on that…here is the capture of the second swarm into our neighbor’s empty hive box:
The swarm was tightly clustered due to yet another damp, drizzly day. Fortunately, they went to the same tree only on a lower branch just a foot or less above my head.
The branch the swarm was on was rather tiny in diameter as you can see…unlike the first swarm that was at the end of a thicker branch. For this second swarm, we were able to trim this branch easily without disturbing the cluster of bees (the previous swarm…the branch we were lightly pulling on in order to get to a good cutting spot just snapped, fortunately over the hive, but the clusters was dumped rather haphazardly until this capture). My neighbor is barehanded. With swarms, the bees are usually very calm. They cluster around their queen. They have gorged themselves on honey before leaving. Plus, with the drizzle, they are trying to keep warm and dry. These bees were not the least bit concerned with us.
My neighbor stuffed the branch and all into the void. There is a queen excluder on the front at the opening. That keeps the queen inside the hive while allowing all workers and other bees access in and out (queen is much larger in size). My neighbor positioned the hive so the opening was somewhat downhill so no water would pool inside the hive body. The hive sat in place for a few days to make sure the bees remained with it. Under the cover of night, the whole hive will be relocated (bees are moved at night because they all tend to be finished with foraging for the day and are all inside).
The amazing thing? I still have very active bees in MY hive. One of these days…I will see what is going on in there! Stay tuned…