Hi All-
So here's the layout:
I have three hives -
One of which is huge and healthy and in it's third year.
The other two are new hives and new colonies this year.
One of them, I put in a package of bees at the very end of April and they have done a gangbuster job setting up shop, with lots of comb built out
and lots of new brood. Many many bees and more coming. Capped honey, too.
The other one of the "new" hives has a small swarm that I put in that was taken out of a home.
It was pretty small in size and though I tied up some of the capped, but most likely killed in transit brood comb, and honey comb, it was a mess, truth be told, by the time I finished up in there. Happily, for me and them (I don't like messes much myself), they swarmed less than a week later and I cleaned up the hive and put them back in. They are small, but making comb and doing their thing.
Then, about a week ago, I had a swarm that unmistakably came from the package bee colony. Though I had just done an inspection and saw no queen cells and they had plenty of room, they swarmed nonetheless. A very small swarm, in fact. What I decided to do was put that small swarm into the other "new" hive that had the small house swarm.
Interestingly, and maybe noteworthy, was the fact that the hive that swarmed last week, the one that has been going gangbusters but still had room and showed no queen cells was not only the one that swarmed, but when I opened up the roof right after the swarm, there was a peach size cluster of bees clustering around the brood section of the hive. The other perhaps noteworthy event was the day before the swarm I noticed a lot of drones flying high, so I was thinking the queen was getting fertilized.
Today, a week later, and to be clear, a week after I put bees in the hive from the house that was small, I came home and peppered throughout a plant is small fist sized clusters of bees, perhaps four or five of them hiding out in some perennials.
So, what the heck is going on??? I am thinking of sitting out an empty box and letting them go where they want - in the box or back into one of the hives. What are folks thoughts on what might be happening? Would love some brainstorming! Thanks!!
Liz
seattle