Got there and the swarm was huge 4-5 pounds of bees and more like 10 foot up in the tree. My 6 ft ladder was too short. The home owner offered her pick up to set up the ladder in, now the ladder is 9 foot tall good enough. I'd recently hurt my finger and it is in a split, so I'm a little disadvantaged in getting this big swarm. So I'm up in the back of the truck, I see the method I'll use. The limbs are nearly 3 inches and will hardly shake. So I set the ladder under them as support if the box gets to heavy. I climb up on the side of the truck bed and grab hold of the limb for balance and shake the bees off. With my good hand I hold the card board nuk box just a few inches under the bees. I shake it as hard as I could and half the bees dropped right into my box! The other half stayed on the limb.
I set the box down in the bed of the truck and cover it. Bees start moving in, a few at a time. No bees are exiting, a very good sign. The rest of the bees thousands of them start to take flight in a swarm, they leave, circle and return. Bees everywhere in the air around us for a good 30 minutes. The bed liner in the truck looks like a landing strip, at first a foot wide and two foot long, growing to a mass of bees a foot wide by over four foot long. All moving slowly or waiting their turn as bees proceeded into the box 8-10 at a time. And no memory card, it was so cool!
By the time only 40-50 bees were left I closed up the box and headed home with them. Thinking Meg will have a fit with me setting up a 6th hive in the yard. OK I'm going to the farm down the street, I'd talked about putting bees there a month ago, they were cool with it. I found the owner as they were eating lunch. We went and sighted out a spot for the bees, she carried the bees and I grabbed a concrete block to set them on. Set the bees up on the block and opened it up. With in minutes the bees were bearding out of the small nuk box as shown below.
After the hive was ready I grabbed the box and shook the bees off the front. Opened the nuk to find the two frames inside covered in bees and the rest of the box as well. Set the frames with bees inside and waited. Again a big flight of bees in the air and finally most went into the new bee hive.
I returned an hour of so later to get the cardboard nuk box and was told that one of the farm workers had been stung already. They laughed at me and said the bees were just settling in. I'm thinking another box will need to be put on this hive in a week or so. So I now have a sunny spot of my bees on a one acre farm.
The bee hive we cut out a week ago Saturday, I looked in on Friday. Bees hatching, drones galore and the combs all were secured to the frames already. Bad news is on Saturday David and I looked at the front of the hive and counted at least 6 bees with deformed wing virus on the ground in front of the hive.
The nuk I split from the main hive 30 days ago had a small amount of drone brood in it, I'll wait a few more days to see if it gets worker brood or not, and get a queen for them if need be.
Never thought bees would be so much fun. I mentioned my friend David was over on Saturday. They had an empty hive he was getting ready to install a package in next week. While they were here visiting a swarm moved into his hive!
More on gardening soon. Below is a camellia that surprised me on Saturday Camellia japonica 'April Dawn' our second ever bloom.
Been watering like crazy, no rain in sight everything is wilting with temps reaching into the mid 80s already. Broke the sprinkler this morning. Replaced the sprinkler and bought a broken one today. Meg found a really good metal sprinkler on her way home tonight.