Palo Alto Swarm or Abscoded Bees from Cowper?

Got a swarm call this morning with bees hanging around the bottom of the porch, trying to get into a hole. I was told over the phone that half of the bees are dead and I asked if it was sprayed although I already knew the answer. If you see a swarm of bees or have bees in the structure of your home, PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT spray them with wasp or hornet killing sprays. They usually aren’t effective. Anyways, since it was very close to me, and very close to where I rescued the two colonies on Cowper, I stopped by around 7:30 PM to check it out, without any of my gear, just camera in hand.

So here’s the question. Two weekends ago I rescued two colonies on Cowper, which is only a few blocks away from Waverley. This swarm arrived one week after on Waverley. I did catch the Upper Queen but I did not capture the Lower Queen. Could this swarm of bees be from the Lower colony at Cowper? The queen could have crawled out of the crack with the workers and absconded when they saw that their home was removed. I wish there was a way to tell if it was or not, it would make combining these bees with the Cowper Hive easier. That’s if these bees survive the spray as I will quarantine them for a week or two AND if the Cowper Hive fails to craft their new queen from existing larvae and eggs.

Another thing about that Lower colony at Cowper, when I went back to collect the bees after dinner, there weren’t many bees at all left at the Lower colony’s old home. Could they have absconded when I left for dinner? I would assume a larger number of foragers would have returned and stuck around for a few days but that never happened. So maybe this swarm is it, MAYBE.

Here’s the scene after the bees have been sprayed. Dead bees laying around and the cluster of survivors of about 100 to 200 bees, at least for now. Some of them look like they won’t make it.

I was curious if the Queen survived or not so I found a cardboard box and cereal box to do some investigation. While doing so I almost got stung as one darted towards my head and got into my hair. Anyways, I swept some bees into the box, and there she is!!! I found the queen.

We jammed home to get our gear and equipment. Here’s my dad checking her out.

Can you see the Queen in the picture below?

Raid WASP & HORNET spray, NOT HONEY BEES! I should stat a campaign or something to get these companies to label their cans to not spray honey bees!

We rubber banded the queen onto a frame. No drawn combs will be used for this swarm capture since I’ll combine them in a week or two, that’s if the bees survive.

This entry was posted in Bee Removal, Honey Bees, Palo Alto, Swarms and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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