Sigh...they've been doing this:
A swarm this huge looks menacing doesn't it?
As per the routine, hubby set up a ladder with a box of honey frames on top hoping to entice the bees inside.
He reaches the branch where they are clustered and gently shakes it into the box.
Looks good so far...
We were amazed to see the branch the bees were on. It was extensively drawn out in wax comb which indicates a) they've been there for a bit to get this much done and b) they must have been intending to stay (?). The comb is where the queen lays her eggs and also where honey will be stored. Seems an odd choice for a home. Every inch of this branch was covered in wax.
While we were ogling the branch, the bees began to recluster on a higher limb of the hackmatack tree. Ohh oh...that means the queen is not inside the box of frames, and the bees are leaving to rejoin her. Unfortunately, the branch is too high to reach from the ladder.
A brave hubby climbs into the bucket of the John Deere and gets hoisted up to reach the branch. Unfortunately I was unable to photograph this daring escapade as I was on the ladder having the branch of bees handed down to me.
If you look closely at this picture you will see the air is filled with bees. It was a very large swarm.
This time we got the queen, so the bees settled happily in their new digs to begin their colony. I expect they are happy to be in a hive and not out on a limb.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...ANOTHER swarm of bees had formed only a few feet from where this first performance was taking place. Unbelievable...We turned around and there they were. These bees settled on the ground, which is sometimes a difficult capture to manage.
Clever hubby set the box on bricks directly over the swarm and eventually the bees just marched right in. Easy.
The best part of the day was getting this incredible picture of the queen circled by her attendants. I am very pleased with this shot. It almost made this very long day away from quilting worthwhile.