I was called to look at a “hive” (it was a swarm) in a local primary school’s grounds yesterday morning (late Feb in Sydney). I was a bit surprised as I don’t usually see swarms much after December.
It was only small compared to what I’d seen in the past, maybe a rockmelon size, hanging on a thin branch at shoulder height so I cut the branch and put the ball of bees in my corflute box. I didn’t get any photos as I was working solo and quickly since it was a school with kids about. I wasn’t able to leave the box in place until dark as I usually do as it was in a very high traffic area so I waited as long as I could and by then most of the bees had entered the box so I took them home. When I went back to check in the afternoon no bees had returned to the spot so I’d say I got the majority of them.
What do you think of their chances of survival this close to autumn/winter?
I’ve added two frames of brood and two frames of honey donated from my existing established hives but don’t particularly want to weaken them any further either as they get ready for autumn. At the moment the swarm and donated frames are still in the corflute box as the numbers aren’t big enough to transfer to a spare 8 frame wooden brood box that I have but they can’t stay in the corflute box through winter. I’ve also added a beetle trap with DE in it to the corflute box as SHB is a particular problem with weak hives here.
Anything else I can do to help them along? I shouldn’t need to feed them if I’ve given them 2 frames of honey, yes?