Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Bar Hive swarmed today (3pm) 3.2.15

My TBH was jammed full of bees. 

Here is a peek in the window taken a few days ago. It was so full you could only see a few pieces of comb. The white comb is fairly new..built shortly after the Red Maples started blooming in Dec.


I started to set up my swarm catcher then decided to call my neighbor and see if he wanted another hive. Debbie told me he was setting up a hive next to the one he has. His hive is full of bees also and he figured it would be easier to catch his own…so I didn’t set it up. Don’t want to catch them and have no home for them.

A few hours later I looked out and they were in the air.

I love watching them doing their orientation so I check on them every now and then….this is not orientation.



It’s amazing how many bees there are.


The sky is full of them….


They have decided on this tree and most of the bees are hanging out over here.



It wasn’t long and I started to see them collecting on this branch.


It’s a nice sized swarm…..I’ve read that the Queen will take about half the bees when it gets too crowded. They have Queen cells already started so the old hive will have a new Queen.

She will have to leave the hive to get mated. That is when she is most vulnerable. Sometimes they don’t make it back and the workers have to start another. During this time some of the older bees are dying and the numbers get lower. I’ll leave the robber screen on until they have had time to rebuild. Wax Moths are a problem with a weak hive.

I am hoping the bats will keep the moth problem under control. So far..there are about 8 bats in our bat house.


It is only 25’ from the hives but I have a street light nearby and solar lights. Moths are attracted to light and the bats to the moths….at least that’s the way I hope it works.

Looks like they’ve settled in for the night.


This is what it looks like from underneath.


I took this photo of the window in the TBH half an hour after the bees settled in the tree.


A closer look…you can see the comb now…


The girls have settled down but still several on the robber screen….as you can see that there are not many in the air now.


Hope they find a nice hollow tree….and keep on populating.

Through all of this the workers in the other hives just continue to do their job. How do they find their way through such a traffic jam.

I think the next to swarm will be the “bee box”. It is a box we put up for the squirrels to make a home in….


The bees in the swarm will be sending out scouts for a new home. Once they decide on it…. the air will be full again.

Watch the video below. I was walking around while filming so there might be a shaky spot or two.

I love my bees. Hate to see them go..but that is the way nature intended.


  1. Swarming events are always dramatic aren't they. Usually the local birds get a bit excited during swarm departure and I hear one calling in your video. Thanks for sharing that, Carol. Here in the North country, our honey bees are still winter prisoners. Mid May is when we have to be on swarm alert and make sure they have lots of wiggle room. That is when I make my spits from over-wintered colonies. Aren't they fascinating?!
    Cheers, Florence

    1. The swarm just took off for parts unknown. Hope they find a good home. I was not interested in more hives so glad to let them go.


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