Today was busy. Dad’s hive swarmed, and the silly things went to the exact same branch they went to last year.
The hive was located about 25′ up, in a very difficult location. I tried everything I could, but could not collect it today. Climbing up the tree, I first tried to get them in a bucket, but there were too many branches, not enough of them weight bearing. I then tried several times to shake the bees down, but it was too windy, and the clump of bees dispersed each time I shook them off, then reformed back on the branch. I tried sawing the branch down, but the branch kept closing the kerf, jamming the saw. I was so tired and sweaty after a couple hours of tree climbing, that I just flopped down on the grass panting for a while.
There is a full depth hive box, with frames (and a couple with honey), sitting directly below them now. The theory is that they will head for a nice ready built hive, and tomorrow the hive will be nice and full of bees. That is the theory, anyway.
Hives swarm when there is a second queen, and the first queen packs up her loyal followers, and off they go. The bees gorge themselves with honey, and off they go. Swarming bees are very docile, as they have nothing to fight and die for, and are full of food.
Dad has already got 2 brood boxes and 4 supers on his hive. Looking like a great December extraction. So jealous. I still feel sadness for the loss of the girls, and will try to be a better keeper this year.
I am looking forward to getting a hive again, I have missed the girls.