Thursday, March 5, 2015

And then there were none?

Just before dusk we were both sitting in our living room looking at the swarm bearded upon the swarm trap.  They seemed pretty content and were enjoying the sugar water in the feeder.  Bees were coming and going looking like they may be foraging.  I just couldn't figure out why a big group was still bearded up on the outside of the box.  While watching them this afternoon they finally gave us the answer as they all took flight and flew off before our eyes.  It was something to observe.
Honey comb left behind

At least they left a little present before leaving.  In the center of the beard they made comb and left a nice piece behind.  Even though many bees were inside the box it appears the majority were outside.  I was able to observe the bees pouring out of the box on the outgoing swarm.  The euphoria of them arriving matched the disappointment of them leaving.

MAYBE the lemon grass scent was too strong inside so the queen stayed outside because it masked her pheromone scent???
MAYBE a frame should be removed from the trap to give them more room ???
MAYBE they should have been scooped up right away and deposited into a full hive.  Next time I won't hesitate.

AND JUST MAYBE ... there's still a hive inside the box.   They say swarms can double and even triple split.  Tomorrow will tell.
New hive (center) ready for new arrivals.  Top box will house feeder

Black Carpenter Bee
Out at the bee farm some of the flowers are attracting bumble bees. There were many honey bees on these flowers before the bumble bees took over this turf.  One all black bumble bee that looked pretty smooth was very interesting.  While sitting and observing the honey bee hives, this black carpenter bee kept zooming around the honey bee hives, possibly looking to an opportunity to get into the hive and help herself to some honey I guess.  But the honey bees were quite numerous and where the Carpenter Bee dominated in size, the honey bees could overwhelm in numbers.  The Carpenter bee never did much more than zoom around the hives and a few passes by the entrances.

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