Spring has been late. Again. But, it has finally warmed up enough and we have had a couple of glorious days over the last two weekends. We have had two swarms in our back yard already, and I have caught two afield as well. Here is a picture of the swarm we attempted to hive last night out in Gaston at Big Table Farm. These were reluctant bees, I think because the temperature had dropped below a comfortable 50 degrees. They were not happy about being moved, and I ended up with not one but two bees up my pant leg. You just never know how it is going to go. Neither bee stung me though, so I guess they weren’t totally pissed, or I am extremely lucky.
This swarm was a challenge because the bees were clumped on a roll of wire, and every time I moved the wire bees got smushed in between the coils. Hopefully the queen was not one of them! I am sure that was in part the reason for their crankiness.
Otherwise this swarm was a dream: a good sized population, and only 2 feet off of the ground. I caught the original colony that threw this swarm off of a fencepost last summer, and they were all wound up in a piece of plastic drain pipe in a very similar fashion. So interesting, and quite possibly the same queen. She either is not a great flier, or has a thing for stuff leaning up against fence posts!