Spring Winter-like Storm and Problem With Swarm of Bees

For everyone wondering about our bees… They are in their new box. A generous couple from Alpine who belong to the San Diego Beekeeping Society drove all the way here to Linda Vista and helped us figure out the problem(s).

1. The Queen was NOT in the box with her bees! We located her on a neighbor’s trailer with her troupe of about 50 bees. 
2. Another Queen was dead on the ground with a small group of loyal bees.

It appears that a second swarm came into our yard during this last bout of rain and wind. It may have been dislodged from it’s location during the storm.  At some point, our Queen left the temporary box. This is why the bees were in mass confusion – they were looking for her!

This was April 14, 2012. The Queen has left the building.

We will probably never know what really happened…

Because we thought that the bees were highly agitated due to the wind and rain, and because our neighbor was pretty frightened, Saturday night we moved the temporary box to a location across the yard in a more sheltered area. 

Sunday morning it was the same behavior. 


We called the couple who gave us the swarm to see if they knew what was going on. They packed up their bee stuff and came over!


They got the hive moved over to the permanent box, captured the Queen and put her in, and lent us a feeder to place in the hive (they were so hungry). The experience was actually thrilling. You should have seen it when they recognized her! I wanted to cry.

Anyway… That’s the short story!


Here is our Flickr stream of all the photos.

UPDATE: Sunday, April 15th

 Boo! Same behavior today :( It appears the Queen left again! Our bees are on the way to Alpine to hopefully get integrated with other bees. It is better than having them fly around the neighborhood in confusion until they die…


We will try again in a couple weeks!
 

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Spring Winter-like Storm and Problem With Swarm of Bees

When Bees Swarm

A swarm of honeybees hit our backyard today!

Our organic garden is going to love it if these bees decide to stick around and make a hive…


Bees swarm when a group leaves the main hive and sets off to create a new one.


There is usually no need for alarm, bees are usually not aggressive during this stage of their lifecycle.


They create a huge ball of bees which is a small pitstop while scouts go looking for a good hive location.


We have seen 2 swarms in 2 days. Hopefully this is a sign that honeybees are making a comeback!

Read more about swarming:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarming_(honey_bee)

What is happening to honey bee research?
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/23138

Watch: 
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Read:
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When Bees Swarm