TeaCup Swarm - Smallest ever?
Background: On Sunday I made up a split using a 10 Bar TBH, split was with no queen, brood, eggs, comb, honey/pollen total 6 bars. Since the split was staying in my own yard I screened the all entrances and left instructions to the wife to pull the screens in 3 days. I then left for a out of State trip.
About 5pm that day she called and said something was happening and sent me the pic above. She confirmed all my screens were still on and the congregation of about 500 bees did not come out of the new nuc and there was no flying activity from my other hive. All was calm except this cluster attempting to get in.
She stayed out there till dark and no change in activity.
Monday morning they were still there, she kept calling every 30 minutes or so with her observation. She was "petting" the cluster (her words) trying to find a queen which I explained to her if it was a small afterswarm/afterswarm the queen may be virgin and she would have a hard time making her out.
After a dozen calls with no flyoffs or any other activity other then the cluster trying to get in, she went into my bee shed and pulled out a used 5 frame nuc box, added 5 frames of wired foundation. then went into my freezer and grabbed some larger drawn comb pieces and merged them into/onto one of the frames. Finally she place a drop of LGO in there. As soon as she placed the 5 Nuc next to the cluster in they marched. Then after the march in she moved them next to my shed.
As of right now 48 hrs after they arrived they are still there.
Told the wife that under no circumstances will that small swarm be expected to make it, rather I'd combine them when I get back. Answer back was they were her bees and I needed to give them some extra brood.
I'm really enjoying this as prior to this she was not very keen except as a causal observer of me working the bees. Now she has her own
Pasadena, Md. & Accomac, Va.