We are new beekeepers and have a single TBH. We installed a swarm in April and they are going really well but all brood combs so far, no honey only. They had about six bars left to fill at the end.
Yesterday, I could hear bees when I was outside and looked around. There were a lot flying around the top of the house. Hm. I called a local beekeeper to ask him if this was swarming (rather than one massive orientation flight). He wasn't sure. By the time I was done talking, the activity was gone, so I looked around at the trees around the house to see if I found find a cluster of bees. I did not.
Today there was a flurry in roughly the same spot (maybe 30 feet away from the hive). This time I watched them fly all over the backyard and then settle into a pine about 40/45 ft up. Well out of reach, alas. I even called someone advertising to catch swarms but it was too high for him.
Hm. So we hastily assembled a nuc, pulled some plastic out of a frame, pulled some dark brood comb out of the TBH, cut and rubber banded it into the frame. A few drops of lemongrass oil in the nuc and set it all on top of the house, about 25 feet below the cluster of bees.
I figured chances are the cluster will ignore it and move on, but maybe their scouts will come down and take a look. I'm not sure how often clusters fly off to a new spot? Or do they stay put until the scouts have made a report?
They've been up there about five hours now at least. I'm not sure what yesterday's activity was, same bees or a DIFFERENT swarm.
We did inspect the TBH as well, found six or so queen cells and three uncapped. Lots of brood, no honey only combs (one with nectar, but not capped), lots of bees left in the hive. No uncapped larvae, didn't see eggs. Should we do anything with the capped cells? Leave them be? Let the bees sort it out?
It's a learning experience. Wish the bees had landed lower!
Last edited by dixieswife; 06-15-2013 at 07:52 PM.