Swarm Surge

The bees just won’t quit, and today brought the first confirmed multi-queen swarm of the season. No sooner had I arrived home at about 2:40, than I saw Mondo beginning to swarm. Within about 20 minutes, they had settled in exactly the same portion of tree branch as Saturday’s swarm of bees. Too bad we took the ladder down yesterday afternoon!

As we are now up to our eyeballs with 10 beehives, I called a new beekeeping friend who has been looking for untreated bees from a foundation-less hive. Mondo fits that bill. Shilpa arrived with nuc in hand, and we wrestled the ladder onto the same tree branch.

I never cease to be amazed by swarms of bees. The most notable observation we made today was sighting two different queens in the mass of bees in the nuc. The first was much darker than any Kelly and I have previously spotted in our apiary. Perhaps I should have shooed her down into the nuc immediately, because I believe (though I can’t be certain) that she took flight alone as I snapped pictures of her. The second queen was blond, and wasted no time before diving into the nuc.

Enjoy a few of the 79 pictures we took of the whole event!

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Somebody forgot to tell our bees that they shouldn’t swarm on a day forecast for showers.

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The swarm begins consolidating around the camphor tree.

 

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Awwww….

 

Thanks, Shilpa, for taking shots of me out on a limb.

Thanks, Shilpa, for taking shots of me out on a limb.

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The paler queen can be seen her on the far left side of the second frame. A worker bee is partly obscuring her right side. The queen dove between the frames a few seconds later.

 

 

The dark queen is slightly right of center, with her head pointing toward two o'clock. As always, you can click to enlarge.

The dark queen is slightly right of center, with her head pointing toward two o’clock. As always, you can click to enlarge.

 

I believe this shot may capture the moment that the dark queen took off. She is dead center.

I believe this shot may capture the moment that the dark queen took off. She is dead center.

 

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