Hive cut-out...good- bad---and good
Did a cutout in an old barn on 6/5/2011. Big bunch of bees (20k?). It was an old hive that had died out and been repopulated by a swarm maybe year before last.
Gentle Italian looking bees had made new comb where the old comb had fallen away.
I threw away basically all of the old comb (7 ft long sections - almost black with age).
After 3 hours of sweating (98 degrees), putting good comb/brood/honey into the new hive box...and being almost finished...the queen takes off to a tree (covered in vines) about 50 ft away along with ~1/2 the bees....just like a swarm. There were no swarm queen cells in the cutout.
After two unsuccessful tries to catch the swarm, I called it quits (Sunday ~7pm by this time)...and left the new hive sitting on a ladder about 6 feet from the swarm.
I came back Tuesday morning armed with a swarm catch bucket, better pruning shears ...and more ladder. Bees were still where I had left them...both in the box and on the tree
Took me an 1-1/2 hours (dang vines) but I finally managed to get the queen in the box.... I didn't see her but the bees all started going in the box.
Finally spied her last weekend while doing a frame by frame check. Nice healthly looking queen checking out the new comb.
These bees are making comb llike crazy! I wonder if the "induced swarm" kicked them into a swarm mental state?