It’s late and I have to get up early in the morning to deliver two double story hives tomorrow in Palo Alto, so I won’t write too much. Anyways, received a call this morning from Chris of Atherton. Her neighbor has an oak tree with a healthy colony living in the trunk and you guessed it, it threw off a swarm yesterday afternoon, and it is a good swarm too. Probably about 3-5 pounds of bees. From the picture it looks much bigger because they were plastered and spread out.
We arrived a little after 7 PM tonight to relocate them. We wanted to catch the queen so we can deliver this swarm to first year beekeeper Danielle who is ready with a Top Bar Hive but no bees. We started by scooping bees in our hands, look for the queen, and then putting them into a cardboard box. After scooping a good majority of bees and sealing the box we busted out the bee vac to get the rest. We haven’t found the queen yet at this point.
After vacuuming all the bees we noticed the remainder of the bees to be sorta in swarm-find-the-queen mode. Scrambling everywhere and even taking airborne to catch her scent. Then later we noticed some bees gather below at the screen window we cut for ventilation on the cardboard box. Either way, we had high confidence that we got the queen in one of the boxes.
We got home and looked for the queen in the cardboard box. There were a lot of bees so it took a while to find her. I spotted her but then she dug herself into the mass of bees. Then we finally found her again and caged her. We called Danielle and she came by to pick up the bees for her TBH before headed out for the long 4th of July weekend.
Can you spot the queen in both of these pictures?
Thanks Chris for calling us today to rescue this swarm of honey bees!