But it did have a happy ending…
May 12 There was a second cast, across the yard this time and down by the greenhouse.
At frst we thought it was the first set moving on from their nuc home. But, no, the Garage Bees were looking distinctly guilty.
As with the first swarm, this one settled rather low down, and as it was on the side of the property with a relatively close neighbor (their driveway), we figured we should collect the beasts before they got home from work (the neighbors, not the bees).
BUT, we had nowhere to house them. We have a selection f cardboard boxes around to collect them with, but nothing to transfer them into as the nuc is now occupied.
We did collect them into the card board box, just a few lops with the clippers.
But then it was onto local beekeepers to see if they could come and take them to a good home. Our local beekeepers were of great assistance, providing me with the opportunity to give the swarm over to a new beekeeper, looking for his first colony (An aside: one potential taker asked me if the swarm was smaller than a football-Americans, soccer ball-a primary swarm apparently being larger than one?). But not before a storm brewed up….
Despite the weather, the bees are now safely ensconced in their new hive home, and not embarassing us at all.
13 May, 16 May
Usual amount of activity in front of the garage hive, except: an unusual amount of drones flying around the hive and at the entrance, especially at early evening, making so much racket I thought it was another swarm.. Are these newly hatched? Or here for the new queen? Although, I thought it was the ‘virgin’ queen who flies out to the drone meeting place. Hadn’t thought the boys made a house call….
Saw the following exchange on a bee forum regarding this issue:
Does the coming and goings of drones correspond to a particular time of the day? If early evening??? this might suggest that you have mating take place somewhere close by.
The first questions to ask are: why has this hive produced all those drones? are you into prime swarm season?
So, the drones can be a sign of an impending swarm (but it seems that horse/bee is already out of the barn), or that the mating season is hotting up, and this is the chance for the boys to do something useful.
As we are now at 23 May, and the swarming seems to have stopped, it’s probably mating….