Doing a little catching up as this swarm rescue happened mid last week. Received a call from Rich who lives in a multi-plex in Mountain View and said a swarm of bees landed on the mailbox and it’s about the size of a dinner plate. When we got there that evening most of the bees have already moved into the mailbox, which is all locks, and only a small amount hanging on the outside. The outgoing mailbox became the swarm’s incoming entrance.
Because of the access and the swarm just moved in we used Fischer’s Bee Quick to drive the bees out. A lot of them started to pour out of the mail slot and we used a hair dryer to blow the Bee Quick in faster.
Unfortunately the queen didn’t come out. If we were able to open up the entire mailbox when we got there we could have saved the entire colony. I would say we saved more than half but the others died inside the mailbox, and I believe the queen was one of the casualties though while digging through the pile of dead bees the next day after the mailman left the entire box unlocked, we didn’t see her. We inspected the hive and dug through the living bees but could not locate her.
We left the box overnight and came back the next night to collect the box, hoping the queen would come out of the locked mailbox and walk into the hive box with her bees.