Ok- So today I got the normal call for a swarm of bees coming out of a vent on a wall… I get quite a few of these calls and I turn them way because I don’t want to do trap outs… Today I got sent this photo-and it wasn’t too far away-it looked like maybe the queen hadn’t gone in yet… and I did manage to nab a swarm just like this once before… and it was a good sized swarm- So I decided to give it a go. I was told it had appeared Today:
So I get there and I carefully scrape the large cluster into a box and put it in my Nuc. I then smoked the wall vent repeatedly- and kept transferring bees from the wall to the box as the reclustered… The bees in the Nuc seemed to be staying- and a few started to fan at the entrance… maybe I got the queen I think. So I decided to leave all alone for 4 hours and return at sunset.
On my return I found no bees visible on the box- but a smaller ‘swarm’ cluster at the wall. I’ve failed thinks I. I take a peek in the Nuc- whoa it’s still full of bees- I’ve succeeded?
Then a neighbor came by and told me those bees have been in that wall for maybe 5 years- and that they have huge beards when it’s hot!!! What!? Here I was thinking it was a swarm: but have I caught a beard!! I’ve taken them home now- but I have a sneaking suspicion there’s no queen in that box…
The bees were very placid and almost sleepy seeming- no stings and zero aggression. They behaved like a swarm. However when I left there was still a small cluster at the vent and bees coming home just as the sunset.
The odd thing is it wasn’t very hot today after a heatwave last week- but it was very humid and drizzling…
What do people think: have I caught a beard???!! It certainly is late in the season for a swarm.