THEY. SWARMED. 😭
Yesterday, I got a phone call from Matt asking if I had seen his text message. I'm driving and #adulting so I don't text and drive anymore.
The bees have swarmed. Luckily, they attached themselves to our back fence, easily accessible.
I immediately called Ed and told him. He instructed me to do what I was still nervous about doing: Catch the swarm. Honeybees, when swarming, are even more friendly than when they're busy working. This video shows that. But, I'm not yet ready for that.
We built a makeshift swarm box using a deep super with 4 frames in it. Got a piece of plywood to cover the bottom and the top, leaving a small gap for them to go in. We propped the box up right underneath the swarm and brushed them into the box, using a brush :)
|You can see how small they are compared to the box. Normally, the whole box would be FULL of bees.|
In about an hour, they had all gone in. Still, their small numbers will not be enough to last them through the winter.
When we opened up the hive, there was only 1 fully drawn comb in the 2nd medium box. Hardly any bees though. What we found instead - hive beetles and larvae. Ew.
|Towards the bottom are the hive beetle (black) and larvae to the right of it|
|Lots of larvae|
That would be why the bees left. I wonder if there was first batch of bees that swarmed, the majority of the hive. And this one that we just found was the rest of the hive finally taking off. I find it hard to believe that the rest of them just died. We'll see what Ed says. Swarms happen so fast though, they're not hard to miss.
Ed is coming on Sunday with a new hive so that we can start over... It's all about learning. For now, we have to put the frames with the larvae in the freezer kill whatever's left in there. The wax will then be processed to possibly be made into wax foundation strips.