Meanwhile, the top bar hive is still in my carport and not where it is supposed to be at my daughter Valerie's house. At intermission at the symphony, I called Valerie and Jeff and told them that they needed to get the hive to their house. Jeff went at 10:00 PM after his class and took the hive legs off to transport it to his house.
The next morning Gina calls me so excited about these bees. It's a huge swarm and they have captured it by hanging a nuc box in a tree. Before the crack of dawn,Gina in her p.j.s, and Phillip in his apron, climbed up and retrieved the box.
I needed to get the swarm installed before picking up my grandchildren at 8:30. I drove to Valerie's house to find the top bar hive waiting for me.
The cardboard nuc box is sitting on the ground waiting to enter the new home for the bees.
Phillip had guessed this was a 4 - 5 pound swarm. When I opened the box it was totally filled with bees.
I dumped the box in and the bees didn't go to the screened bottom. They didn't look particularly comfortable and I was stung four times in the process - once on my finger, three times on my leg (they went up my pants leg). I also had a bee inside my veil the whole time.
I returned Gina's nuc box to her and just wanted to cry. It was such a great swarm and she was so sweet to give it to me. I hope she'll get another and keep it for herself.
I don't know why they left.
- The hive is brand new and smells new. Next time, maybe I'll drop some old comb in the bottom of the hive. I smeared homemade swarm lure on the follower boards, but that didn't do the trick
- I didn't have every top bar on the hive - maybe it didn't feel enough like a horizontal tree trunk to them
- Maybe the screened bottom makes the hive have too much light - especially standing on legs as it does.
- Put all the top bars on the hive
- Drop some old comb in the bottom of the screen
- Take off the legs and lower the hive to sit on cinder blocks, thereby creating a darker space....or add a bottom board.