May 30th – March started our crazy swarm season that pretty much made me utilize any bee hive equipment I had laying around, even the odd homemade boxes. One of the swarms from Los Altos was hived in this box on 3/30 and finally this past long weekend we had a chance to open it up to see what is going on and to transfer them into standard medium hive boxes so they are more easily manageable.
Here’s the homemade box. Height is about a deep but length it’s about 4 inches longer.
First time opening this hive since we put the swarm in. It does have 12 medium frames in there but the height of the box is of a deep. But guess what, of course the bees started to build in the back first where there’s a good empty space without frames. After they filled the back of the box they build underneath the frames! The bottom is completely filled so they did start some fresh combs on the frames but darn it, they built these combs at a diagonal. So it was a mess cutting everything out and framing the combs with rubberbands.
They started in the back but didn’t draw out the combs nicely. All weird directions.
A strong queen with great laying pattern. Population of this hive is now of two mediums. Can you spot the queen in the picture below? We finally found her on the second to last comb.
Here’s a little controlled chaos when we dumped all the bees into the mediums. It was like a false swarm.