Yay, Problem Solved! Oh…oops. Crap!

June 16, 2005
So I thought I had finally solved the problem. As you may remember, the queen was laying in the part of the hive where the bees were supposed to be storing honey. I was a little bit embarrassed with how simple the answer to the problem turned out to be. Instead of trying to rearrange all the hive bodies, as I did originally, at Jean’s advice, I took off all the honey supers and shook all the bees off all the frames. At that point, I had all the bees (includng the queen) down in the brood chambers. I slapped on a queen excluder (so the queen couldn’t get back up, put the honey supers back on and closed up shop.

That way, the brood the queen had laid would hatch and the wouldn’t be replaced by new brood, because the queen was locked down below. Instead, she would lay eggs in the brood chamber (which the bees would have to clean out for her) and all would be well

Well, that was two three weeks ago or so…and I hadn’t really gone into the hive to see how things were doing (just laid a second honey super on top of Hive 2), but I kind of figured everything was going fine, until I got a call today. Well, four calls actually. All of my housemates and my next door neighbor all called me to tell me that my bees were swarming.

Swarming?! They couldn’t swarm this time of year, could they?

Could they?

Well, there was certainly a swarm of bees out front when I got home tonight. It was actually quite beautiful. They’ve aggregated on a metal scultpture my neighbor John made. Check out the pictures! Doesn’t it look like the face is crying bees?

Ah yeah, so what do I do now? Nothing. Nothing is what I do. Let ’em go. I’m not going to try to recapture them, if they want to go, let them go! Honestly, I’m not even sure they’re mine. Yes, they just a house down from my hive, but they look different. These bees look larger, more segmented then my bees. Seriously. The third picture is of the bee swarm, the fourth is of my bees. Ignore the color for a second, they were taken under different lighting conditions. Don’t the swarm bees look larger, harder black stripes? I think they’re a different breed. Different hive. Just coincidence. Yep, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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