Hive capture, part II:
Finally got it.
The hive was in a slightly better position today, though it was cold with a thread of strong winds, and so I made a new contraption, a bucket tied to a 10′ pole. Whilst standing on a shed roof, in the rain, I guided the bucket under the hive, lifted it up, and then belted the branch with the pole a few times. Most of the bees obligingly plopped into the bucket, which Dad then emptied into a hive box. A cloud of bees started reforming on the branch, so I tried again, and thumped and thumped the branch. More bees collected and emptied into the hive.
By now there was an epic cloud of bees zooming around, and thousands more on every surface. Then a curious thing happened, the bees started landing on the entrance to the hive, and streamed inside. It looked like a helicopter view of the start of a One Direction concert – thousands of buzzing pin-brained critters streaming in. The Queen must be inside!
With the Queen’s pheromones drawing the bees in, it was only minutes until the cloud had dispersed, safe inside the hive. There was a large bunch which stayed on the landing pad, facing the hive, buzzing like mad. I am not exactly sure what they were doing, possibly sending Queen pheromones around to draw in the stragglers, possibly to help dry the hive.
I am so excited to have a hive again.